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J.Hazelbaker
J.Hazelbaker, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience:  Experienced and trained in the area of business law.
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I had work done in my warehouse and paid the contractor in

This answer was rated:

"I had work done in my warehouse and paid the contractor in full when the job was completed. I recently received a Notice of Mechanics Lien for parts my contractor ordered from his vendor. The contractor has since skipped town and the parts vendor is coming after me for the paymet. Is this right? Will I be paying this bill twice???"
Chat Conversation Started
J.Hazelbaker :

Hello. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

Customer :

Hello!

J.Hazelbaker :

Under Ky law, a supplier can file a lien on property to which materials were supplied.

Customer :

Which means, me, right?

J.Hazelbaker :

If the amount of the balance due is less than $1,000, the supplier must file a notice within 75 days from the date the last material was supplied.

J.Hazelbaker :

Yes, you are the owner, so the lien would be filed against your property where the work was done.

Customer :

It is $$2,688.

J.Hazelbaker :

If the amount of the balance due is more than $1,000, then notice must be sent within 120 days from the date the last material was supplied.

Customer :

Damn. So, I may very well have to pay this bill twice since the GC has skipped town?

J.Hazelbaker :

No.

J.Hazelbaker :

There are defenses.

J.Hazelbaker :

Has the "preliminary notice" been delivered within the 120 period?

J.Hazelbaker :

That 120 days begins to run from the date the material was last supplied by that vendor, not the date on which the work was completed.

Customer :

I received a "Notice of Intent to File a Lien" yesterday which was within the 120 days. I'm not sure when the materials were supplied frankly but I believe it was within the 120 days.

J.Hazelbaker :

O.K.

Customer :

I have a copy of the invoice send to the GC. Date says May 28.

Customer :

That is about 90 days I think.

J.Hazelbaker :

The next step is that within 6 months, if no lien has been filed, a statement of lien must be filed with the court (with a copy to you). If no statement is filed (or no copy sent to you), then the lien right expires.

Customer :

The Notice says it will be filed if not paid within 10 days. Let's assume they file.

J.Hazelbaker :

Once the lien is filed, the lienholder has 12 months to sue to enforce it. If they don't sue, the lien expires.

J.Hazelbaker :

If they do sue and you can prove that you paid the contractor, then you win.

J.Hazelbaker :

If you can't prove you paid the contract, you will lose.

Customer :

Ohhhhhh. So, it's a matter of proof at that point.

J.Hazelbaker :

Yes.

Customer :

Is having a lien super bad?

J.Hazelbaker :

In all likelyhood, if they sue, they will sue you and the contractor.

Customer :

I've never had nor placed a lien.

J.Hazelbaker :

It's pretty routine.

Customer :

Yes, they are going after the GC as well but can't find him. Phones have been disconnected and such.

J.Hazelbaker :

A lot of times, the vendor really has no interest in actually filing the lien.

J.Hazelbaker :

Ahh, I see.

J.Hazelbaker :

The hope is that the notice will get the owner to yell at the GC and get the GC to pay.

J.Hazelbaker :

What I would do is, if you have proof, send copies to the vendor.

Customer :

Based on your experience, is it best to negotiate a lesser rate and just pay it? After legal fees, if they do sue, it might be cheaper for me to just pay the damn bill. (Not happy.)

J.Hazelbaker :

Chances are they won't file the lien.

J.Hazelbaker :

I would first send the proof of payment to them.

Customer :

Showing that if they sue, they won't win, correct?

J.Hazelbaker :

Right.

J.Hazelbaker :

I would also give them all the information you have about the GC.

J.Hazelbaker :

The GC is the common enemy.

Customer :

Yes, I have already done that. Hate that guy!! Sounds like a plan. Mr. Hazelbaker, this is the first time I've used Just Answer

J.Hazelbaker :

No sense in them making an enemy of you, when you might be able to help them out down the road.

Customer :

Can I request you for future advice?

J.Hazelbaker :

Thanks for giving us a try. I hope it was satisfactory. One other thing.

Customer :

You specifically?

J.Hazelbaker :

Yes. You can request experts specifically. You can also go back to this thread and reopen it at a later time.

J.Hazelbaker :

Even if you didn't have proof of payment, I would be surprised if they actually sued to enforce the lien.

Customer :

Oh good. I pressume that is under my profile or "questions."

J.Hazelbaker :

They might file the lien, which doesn't cost much.

J.Hazelbaker :

Yes, it is.

J.Hazelbaker :

But, they won't likely sue to recover a $2k debt.

J.Hazelbaker :

As the attorney fees will be more than they could recover.

Customer :

Okay, that's good to know they may not try.

J.Hazelbaker :

If they do file the lien, they will likely let it expire.

J.Hazelbaker :

Still, see what you can work out.

Customer :

I certainly will.

Customer :

Having a lien damaging to a business, though?

J.Hazelbaker :

No. Not unless you need to refinance before it gets removed.

J.Hazelbaker :

refinance or mortgage or sell, I should say.

Customer :

Okay, that's what I thought. Got it. You've been very helpful. Can I print our chat or share with my Board?

J.Hazelbaker :

I believe you will have to do a "print screen" using the "function" key (fn) and the "prt sc" key. That will capture an image of your screen, which you can then past to word document for printing. You might have to do it a couple times to get the entire exchange.

J.Hazelbaker :

paste not "past"

J.Hazelbaker :

you paste using the control and "v" keys

Customer :


Perfect. Thanks so much! Goodbye.


J.Hazelbaker :

You're welcome.

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