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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55452
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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Hoping you remember me from a couple of nights ago. The

Customer Question

Hi Richard, hoping you remember me from a couple of nights ago. The question about the hardwood flooring installation. Anyway, I have told the GC that we will not pay until we have lien waivers from each of this subs. He is saying he will place a lien if we don't pay etc. He has disputes with two of the subs that did work here that apparently apply to this project and some others. He actually had to pull two of them off this job due to substandard work etc. He says those will not sign lien waivers as one will not get paid at all, and the other will get an amount that is less than the work order due to the deficiencies he corrected. Can we ask for documentation of that instead of a lien waiver?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

Hi! My name is Richard & I will be helping you today! It will take me a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

Hi...Yes, I remember you. You want to explain to the contractor that you are not willing to pay the contractor and then get stuck with a suit from a sub over a dispute between the sub and the general. You want to insure that you at least get a signed document from the sub that the sub will not sue you. You don't need to worry about the threat of any lien. If the contractor were to place a lien, he would not be able to do anything with it unless he filed a suit and prevailed in that suit. Given your facts, he would not prevail, and the court would simply order the lien released. And, if the contractor doesn't timely pursue the suit, the lien will lapse automatically. The contractor has no legal basis for putting you in the middle of a dispute between the general and his sub.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
That's great, but I don;t think these guys are going to write that out if they arent getting paid by this guy. He's finishing today, and will write an invoice. He said he can get a waiver from the crew that is finishing our work today, but the group that was here previously not. It sounds like we simply can't pay this guy until we have those waivers.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Also- he did tell me that he, the general, will give me a lien waiver. He also said he would be willing to put something in writing stating the chargeback amounts to the subs that he will not be paying or not paying in full for this job. He also said he would get a waiver from the crew finishing the work. It sounds like the prudent thing to do here is to simply require the waivers and let him do what he will with the lien process. Can you think of any other possible course of action?
Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

It doesn't do any good to get a lien waiver against the general when you know there is a problem with the sub. That simply gives you a cause of action against the general, but no protection against the sub. I agree with your conclusion.