Legal Question in Construction Law in Indiana

mechanics lein

During a roofing job our property was damaged. We were told- it would be fixed perfectly, and then our final payment would be due. After sending out a painter and a under-table guy who could do a patch job- we advised the roofing co. that we expected it to be fixed to look as nice as it was before, and the two people that they had sent out each stated that they could do the job- but we would still be able to tell where they stuck the nails thru the ceiling.(The proper way would be to tear off and reroof the damaged part). The Roofers refused to put any kind of promise in writing.They said they didn't want to file insurance claim.They made appts with us and never showed up.(Refused our certified letter) Then we received a notice of account assignment /validation of debt'- from an attorney-stating we had 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt in writing- when we called the roofer- they said (again) they could come out and discuss it in 2-3 wks.(yea, sure) and in less then a week a mechanics lein was filed-stating that the work had been done within the last 60 days.( it had been 124 days since they finished the roof) And I wasn't given 30 days to respond before the mechanics lein was filed-only 3.Is this legal? What can I do?

Asked on 2/20/07, 2:29 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: mechanics lein

The contractor has sixty days from the last date he did any work toward the repairs. But if it has really been 124 days since the contractor had anyone do anything on your property, then the lien is illegal. Furthermore, if the work performed was not done correctly, the lien could be illegal. Therefore, advise the contractor, at the address indicated in the lien, that you will sue him and all his agents for Slander of Title and for breach of contract, and if they fail to both remove the lien and pay the for the repairs you will obtain from a legitimate contractor, you will proceed with a civil action. Send a copy to the collection firm. If the barbarians file a lawsuit against you, then these claims can be asserted in your counterclaim. You attorney fees may technically be part of the damages. Take your case to an attorney experienced in civil litigation and construction law. Good luck.

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Answered on 2/20/07, 2:41 pm
Voyle A. Glover Attorney at Law

Re: mechanics lein

It sounds like the contractor went over the 60 day limit for filing his Mechanic's lien, which means you could have a claim for slander of title. You certainly have a claim for breach of contract. While they still have a claim under the contract to be paid for the work they have done, and in fact may be due the entire amount, you have a right to demand the work be done pursuant to the contract and in a workmanlike manner.

Get a lawyer involved. A letter or two, coupled with demands to make the necessary repairs may be sufficient.

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Answered on 2/20/07, 3:40 pm

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