Contractor is threatening a mechanics lien

Asked about 1 year ago - Laguna Hills, CA

We had a house fire in January. I signed a contract with a restoration company to try and salvage my contents. I paid them in full but they didnt deliver all of my items back to me. The restoration company wanted to do the construction work in my unit as well. We did not have any contract verbal or written for that work. I hired a different contractor for the structural repairs and now the restoration company is threatening to file a mechanics lien on my house for structural repairs that were never done. My insurance paid them for the content restoration in full and they are trying to use the contents they forgot to deliver as collateral? The repairs are almost done and I want to put my house up for sale.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Nicholas Basil Spirtos

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . A contractor is not entitled to a mechanic's lien unless they have performed work and have not been paid. Under your facts, any lien would probably be invalid and unenforceable. However, that might not stop the contractor from recording a lien anyway. I suggest you contact the insurance company and let them know, since the restoration company probably does a lot of business with the insurer, they won't want to mess that up by screwing around with customers. Also let the insurance company know that you have not gotten everything back.
    You might want to hire an attorney to send out a strongly worded letter. Spending a little to get a preemptive strike in might be worth it in the end, since you are looking to sell your house.
    I have dealt with restoration contractors in the past. I would be happy to discuss your matter with you and do not charge for consultations. Tel: 909-455-1194

  2. Chi Leung Ip

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Don't do anything. You cannot react to threat made under your above case fact. In adddition to record a mechanic's lien, the cotnractor has to foreclose upon said mechanic's lien within 90 days from the recording date. Just wait it out. Contractors seldom act on this nature of threat when there is no substance to their claim. You have the right to contract with whoever contractors you desire.
    Edward C. Ip www.lawyer4property.com

    No attorney / client relationship established. The answr is for discussion and general information only. The... more
  3. Cathleen M Curl

    Contributor Level 12

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I think the threat of a lien is merely a threat to try to get you to pay them more money. A contractor cannot lien for work they didn't do. I agree that it's an excellent idea to contact your insurance company and let them know of this problem so they can stop using this contractor on jobs. They also cannot legally hold your other items hostage. You or your attorney should immediately write them a letter demanding the return of your items. You can take them to Small Claims Court yourself if the amount of your damages is small enough to warrant it.

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