You've been threatened with a lien. Now what?
We frequently receive calls from homeowners concerned about mechanic's liens and threats of mechanic's liens on their properties. Our initial inquiry is always the same: why do you care? Most of the time, the answer is simply fear that comes from a place of insufficient knowledge about the process.
In Colorado, mechanic's liens, their requirements, and the process to act upon them are governed by C.R.S. 38-22-101, et seq. While the statute may seem daunting, the process is actually simple. Generally speaking, mechanic's liens must be recorded within 4 months of the last date of substantive work on a property. No later than 10 days prior to recording a lien, a contractor must notice its intent to do so while complying with statutory requirements. There are also deadlines to file a lawsuit on the lien, which action is frequently not taken. That can leave you with an expired lien recorded against your property that is visible to title companies and lenders.
Importantly for homeowners, if contractors untimely record their lien or fail to follow proper procedures, they are still able to cloud title to your property by recording a lien. Removing it is something you may or may not have to deal with, and something you may or may not want to pursue in court. That determination is case specific and largely depends on whether you intend on selling or refinancing, how much equity you have in your property, and the amount of the lien.
Our attorneys have resolved liens for homeowners in every conceivable fashion, including settling with the lienor, pursuing bonds to remove the lien immediately, and negotiating homeowner indemnification and escrow language with title companies and lenders to permit financing to move forward unaffected by a lien. The best course of action always depends on the specific facts of your case. You should obtain legal representation from experienced construction lawyers to evaluate and pursue your options.
At Sullenberger Roskamp PLLC, our attorneys represent homeowners, general contractors, and subcontractors with respect to their mechanic's lien issues. Obtaining representation from attorneys who handle both sides of mechanic's lien and construction disputes puts you in the position to resolve your issues with the best possible outcome. Our analysis of these (and all other) cases starts with a clear and transparent costs and benefits analysis from a business perspective, rather than a legal one.
Our view is that though you may have a good case from a legal perspective, it may not benefit you financially to pursue it. Our primary focus is your satisfaction with our representation, and we find an up front, honest cost assessment is more helpful to you than the legal sales pitch you might receive elsewhere. It's a hallmark of our success, it's why our attorneys generate substantial repeat business, and it's why we continue to receive referrals from satisfied clients.