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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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A contractor has place a Mechanics Lien against us for home

Customer Question

A contractor has place a Mechanics Lien against us for home repairs (roofing and siding). They are demanding $31,569.57 from must in the complaint. However, we have not receive a bill for the services they claim they provided.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Illinois
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes, our issue with the contractor and the reason we are refusing to pay them, is that they are trying to seek payment for over $18,000 of work they did not do.
JA: What advice did they give you?
Customer: We filed a counter claim 2 years ago, and are still in litigation. The contractor lied in their complaint stating that they performed the $18,000 worth of work they seek payment for. We have proof that they are committing fraud, but can get no assistance from our state's attorney, attorney general, or local police.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: We have spent more than $18,000 in legal fees, to date, to stop them from defrauding us, but have no assurances that we will be awarded our legal fees if it goes to trial. Further, the judge in this case has shown that he has a bias, by asking us at a hearing, "Don't you think you should pay the contractor something?"
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 12 months ago.

Dear Customer,
Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 12 months ago.

I am very sorry to learn of your situation.

Unfortunately, the very hard truth of the matter, is that this is the way that these kind of claims go.

Law enforcement and government agencies are not responsible for prosecuting these matters - they are considered civil disputes and the parties (in your case, the homeowner) is responsible for defending their own contractual and property rights at their own expense.

Costs of litigation are very high (if you have only spent $18,000.00 in 2 years, your attorney has handled the matter in a very cost effective manner). And as you note, the chance of recovering your litigation expenses is not certain (this is true in any litigation).

I would not read too much into the court's statement as being biased. If the contractor performed some work on the property (any work), the contractor may have a claim for compensation of some sort - this does not mean that the judge is biased, they may simply be trying to ascertain what your litigation position is (and whether or not referring you to mediation is worthwhile - for example, if you have a party that vehemently denies any and all liability and shows no interest in settlement negotiations, it may make little sense to refer them to mediation (time and expense would be fruitless), whereas a parties that shows some sense of willingness to negotiate may benefit from this exercise in resolving the case short of trial.

But overall, I do commiserate with you regarding the mechanisms of resolving these disputes and I understand the frustrations of the process.

If you have a more specific question regarding your situation I would be happy to answer that for you.

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