Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Florida

building contractors

I am on my 3rd year of a building nightmare. My builder didn't finish my house or pay a subcontractor. He also changed the front elevation without permission. I withheld his final draw as a result. Builder and subcontractor placed liens. Now the bank wants to convert lien from construction to perm but I can't because of liens. I have hired an attorney but he doesn't seem very motivated (many attorneys wouldn't even take the case because there isn't a lot of money in it for them). I have tried to report the builder to licensing department for threatening me on various occasions but to no avail. There is zero communication at this point. Builder also boasts that he is so ''well connected'' in this town that any lawsuit would be a joke on my part. Please advise as to rectfy this situation. Thanks.

Asked on 1/10/08, 10:55 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Johm Smith tom's

Re: building contractors

I seriously doubt that the builder's connections would get them a win, if your facts are good. There is always the right to appeal...if you can afford that.

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Answered on 1/11/08, 12:17 am
Marlyn Wiener Marlyn J. Wiener, P.A.

Re: building contractors

NOTICE: The information provided in this response is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Many factors contribute to providing legal advice, including the specific facts of a situation. You should consult a competent attorney in your jurisdiction for advice regarding your individual situation. By reading the "Response" to your question or comment, you acknowledge that the opinion expressed is not intended to, nor does it, create any attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. If you do not agree, then do not read any further.

If your current attorney is not providing the assistance that you require, I strongly suggest you retain a new attorney to handle this for you. It is important that you resolve the liens because they will make it difficult, if not impossible to sell or refinance your property. In addition, your lender might have the right to declare the loan in default due to the existence of the liens.

It is unclear what type of fee arrangement you have with your current attorney and why you believe there is not enough money in it for an attorney to be interested in the case. This type of matter is typically handled on an hourly fee basis plus costs – if you have a valid and strong position and can pay a competent attorney’s hourly rates – you should be able to retain new counsel to help you. Since it would be difficult for an attorney to accurately estimate the time required to fight these liens – you can expect that a sizeable retainer will be required. With respect to the contractor’s threats – you should discuss those with your attorney as well to evaluate whether the threats might warrant filing a civil or criminal action against the contractor.

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Answered on 1/12/08, 10:34 am

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