When you decide to invest in home renovations, you may approach the project with excitement and visions of what could be. Chances are you never considered that the project would end in a dispute with your contractor or, worse yet, that your contractor would place a lien on your home.
A contractor’s lien is a claim against your property that, if it remains unpaid, can lead to foreclosure, the profits from which the bank will use to satisfy any project debts. For this reason, if you believe that a lien is invalid, it is crucial that you take steps to remove it right away. The Contractors State License Board details what you need to do to remove an invalid lien and regain rights to your property.
The process for removing an invalid lien
Removing an invalid lien entails taking three main steps. Those are as follows:
- Mail the claimant a written request via certified mail. Be sure to keep a copy of this request as proof and to include any deviations from the Lien Requirements Checklist you identified; a copy of your request for the removal of the lien; and a reminder that, if you must hire an attorney, the claimant may assume responsibility for attorney fees
- Retain all of your paperwork to demonstrate either that the lien claimant is unwilling or unable to perform a release of the lien or that you cannot find the claimant
- Send your request to the claimant’s last known address
Oftentimes, sending the request is enough to convince the claimant to remove the lien.
Petition to release the lien
If you are unsuccessful in convincing the claimant to remove the lien, and if enough time has lapsed that the claimant can no longer pursue foreclosure, you may petition the courts to release the lien from your property through its power. Unfortunately, this is a complicated process and one that often necessitates the help of an attorney.
The law specifies that if you must hire legal representation in a lien lawsuit and prevail, the other party must pay your attorney fees. In addition to understanding how to remove an invalid lien from your property, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities.