What Should You Do If There is a Mechanics Lien on Your Property?
If a lien has been put on your property by someone who performed work for you, you need to contact an experienced mechanics lien attorney right away. A mechanics lien can impact your property rights in profound ways and can make you responsible for paying the contractor or subcontractor who put the lien on your property. There are certain circumstances in which a lien is valid and you will usually have to pay the outstanding amount due under these circumstances. There are other situations, however, where the mechanic's lien is not considered to be legally valid and you could get the lien removed, even without writing a check.
Whether you believe the money is owed or not, it is a good idea to talk with a mechanics lien attorney to find out what your options are and to get assistance in trying to get the lien off your assets. Curley & Rothman, LLC provides invaluable assistance in situations where a mechanics lien has been put onto property. Give us a call at 610-834-8819 or contact us to speak with a member of our legal team to find out more.
What is a Mechanics Lien?
The term mechanics lien gets its name from the use of this type of lien in the automotive repair industry. If a mechanic performed work to fix a car, and then was not paid for the repair job, the mechanic could have a claim to the car. Today, a mechanics lien is used on many different types of building and remodeling projects where a contractor or a subcontractor has made improvements to real property.
If a contractor is hired to perform work on a home and performs the work but is not paid, a mechanics lien could be put onto the property. Subcontractors generally also have lien rights, which can pose a big problem if a homeowner pays the contractor who performed work but the contractor does not use that money to pay the subcontractors who did parts of the job. The subcontractors could put a lien on the home of the homeowner who had actually already paid.
When the lien is placed on the property, it is a claim on that property which entitles the lien holder to an ownership interest. If the property is sold, the lien holder is paid from the profits from the sale of the home. Having a lien on a property can be a big problem, though, even if you aren't planning on selling your house. Because of the lien, you don't have clean title. You will have a hard time if you do decide you want to sell, and you will also face issues with the lien if you want to get a mortgage at any point. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems you could have.
What Can you do if There is a Mechanics Lien on Your Property?
If there is a mechanic's lien, you have to act quickly and efficiently. You should:
- Determine if the lien is a valid one or not. A claim can only be made for nonpayment of work or nonpayment of materials if the property owner contracted for and agreed to pay for the work and materials. There must be justification for the lien based on an agreement to pay for services or goods and based on the fact those services or goods were provided as required.
- Determine if all legal formalities were followed. The Mechanics' Lien law in PA sets forth requirements for mechanics liens. The law explains who has the right to a lien, when and how lien rights are waved, and what the process is for filing and perfecting a claim. If proper protocol was not followed when the lien was placed on the property, then the lien may not be valid. Part of following formalities also ensures that the lien was perfected within a reasonable time limit.
You will also want to talk with a mechanics lien attorney in order to determine if the lien is a valid one, and to get help responding to the placement of the lien on your property.
Getting Help from A Mechanics Lien Attorney
Curley & Rothman, LLC knows the ins-and-outs of Pennsylvania laws on mechanics liens. Our legal team can offer you help in determining if a lien is valid and in identifying the best approach to take to respond to the lien. Give us a call at 610-834-8819 or contact us to speak with a mechanics lien attorney to find out more about how you can get help protecting your property.