Mechanicsburg, PA asked in Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania

Q: What steps do I need to take to get a false mechanics lien removed?

A contractor hired to do a renovation once paid in full and not complete vacated the property we have pictures, video, and testimony of how the work was left and what we are still trying to complete to finish the project. We since then found out 1 he isnt a licensed contractor and 2 he put a mechanics lien claim on 11/21/16 served to us 12/2/16 in the evening. We are so baffled at how someone could walk in and give information and put a lien on a house for $48,000 with false statements, with no proof and also without the work being complete and what was complete done so poorly it had to be redone.

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2 Lawyer Answers

Evan Charles Pappas

Answered
  • Lemoyne, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: You may need to initiate a court proceeding to have the court determine that the lien was not justified. This case could also include claims related to the defective quality or workmanship and seek damages for this as well. In addition to the obvious concerns you mentioned, there are strict notice and procedural requirements that apply to lien filings that may not have been satisfied. This could provide additional basis to remove the lien. In order to accomplish this process, you may need to hire an attorney well versed in construction/real estate law and, at the time of filing (or shortly thereafter) may need to post a bond in the amount (or double of the amount) of the lien. Depending on the facts, and only in extremely egregious circumstances, it might be a slander on title, which could provide you with additional damages.

As with every legal problem, the specific facts surrounding the issue bear heavily on how it will be determined. This response is intended for informational purposes only, is not to be considered legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship.

Mark Scoblionko

Answered
  • Allentown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: You need to promptly hire a lawyer and have him demand that the lien be removed. If it is not, the lawyer can then move to strike it and, if appropriate, thereafter sue the person for malicious abuse of process. If you are successful with that claim, you may be able to recover your costs and counsel fees, as well as other damages.

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