What are the steps I need to take once a sub contractor has served me with a mechanics lien?

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What are the steps I need to take once a sub contractor has served me with a mechanics lien?

On 02/05/10 I bought a new construction home. The contractor didn’t pay one of the sub-contractors. That sub-contractor went through the proper steps to inform us that they were filing a mechanics lien against our property for $9000. 2 months ago they filed it. From what I’ve read they have 2 years to take me to court. Why is it my responsibility to cover the contractor’s debts? And how long do I have until I must pay?

Asked on November 12, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Stephen Wiener / Wiener and Wiener LLP

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The filing of the mechanics lien places a lien on your property and should be addressed immediately. Payment of the contractor is not a defense to the mechanics lien and it is possible that you may have to pay the subcontractor as well and then sue the contractor to get repaid (as opposed to the subcontractor having to sue the contractor.) There may have been a lien waiver filed which would prevent the subcontractor from filing the claim. Also if you bought title insurance when you purchsaed the house that may provide coverage against the subcontractor claim. You should consult a real estate attorney to review the matter and determine what options you have.

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M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You state her that the subcontractor "went through the proper steps" to file lien.  Are you sure.  Pennsylvania is very particular as to the steps that need to be taken to file the lien.  Also, I may not wait until he or she decides to sue in the next 2 years.  I might be proactive and seek to sue the contractor and include the sub in the suit.  Remember that the lien has interest associated with it.  It could be very high when he or she decides to sue. I would consult with an attorney in your area on this matter as soon as you can. It may be money well spent. Good luck.


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