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
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 lawyer had not reviewed any documents or contract prior to the above comments.
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.