I was a sub on a residential project and the designer who hired me is no longer returning my repeated calls or emails. There is a balance of just under $20 K owed to me. I need to collect. I didnt want to start out with threats of a lien, but I have been getting no response,
The lien by itself doesn't recover money unless you file a lawsuit. However, if they attempt to sell the property, refinance or (sometimes make a draw) they will have to pay your lien.
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What you are referring to is a materialmen's lien. The process is very structured in terms of the amount of time you have to file the lien, and it goes against the property, and impedes the owner's clear title. The lien is only good for so long, and there are steps you must take going forward, including filing suit to foreclose the lien and giving proper notice, which makes this a process you do not want to do on your own. Going against the designer can be done through a straight lawsuit against them rather than filing a lien.
The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, you should consult with an attorney in person and retain one of your choosing. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP
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