Trying to Help some Guys Get Their Money
Ok, I know there are all levels of guys on this forum that know about liens, legal matters, etc. I am writing this strictly to help the small guy to protect what is rightfully his.
I have just received a check from a job that I did exactly 1 year ago.
How did I do it? I filed a lien on the property as soon as the time had elapsed for them to send me the check. I also kept all the b4 and after pictures on file.
For those of you out there who don't know:
These properties you do work on are 99% of the time foreclosures. These houses are going to be sold. Some sooner and some later but, they are going to be sold. We have a lot here in my city that I have seen sit vacant for more than 1 year before the For Sale sign finally went in the yard.
Point being: If whatever company you are doing this work for does not send you your check in the agreed upon time you need to immediately file a lien on that property. It is not a complicated process and in most states it only cost around $14.00 and you don't need a lawyer. If you think by being Mr. Nice Guy and not filing one that is going to appease them and make them send the check you are wrong.
A house cannot and will not be sold with a lien on it. This does what is called "Places a Cloud" on the title and no one in the world is going to buy it with your lien legally attached to it.
The reason I am writing this is because this is an epidemic that is going on all over this country. And, you the small contractor who are just trying to make a living are the one who is being taken. If you are a small contractor with only a certain amount of working capital and take on a job with a company that doesn't pay you then you are most likely going to be out of business.
If you don't place a lien on that property right away and instead you just decide to wait, what is going to happen is the house is going to be sold. A title search is going to be run and there is not going to be a lien on it because you didn't take the time to file one.
File a Lien
Wait it out
Collect your money
Put it in the bank
Make sure to give it enough time to clear "their" bank
Then, and only then, fill out the Contractor Lien Release and go file it
I hope this helps some guys out there and remember it is never too late to file a lien. If you did a job some time back, drive by it and see if it is still vacant. If so, immediately go file the lien on it. The people that work at these places where you file the liens cannot give you legal advice but, they have always been nice and given me "suggestions" when I needed it.
Btw, the check was not sent to me by the bogus company I contracted with, it was sent by the Escrow Company trying to get the house closed for the bank. You see, as long as the house is For Sale with no offers, nothing is going to happen. This house was up for sale for right at 1 year, they lowered the price a couple of times. Here a month or so ago they really lowered the price and right away got 3 offers all at the same time. I know because I talked to the listing real estate agent. So, that is when I received the check.
Do your research on How to File a Contractor's Lien it is not really that difficult. If necessary, you can probably go to your local library and get more information.