San Jose, CA asked in Contracts for Maine

Q: A buyer signed a contract to pay for equipment but he stopped paying can I put a lien on his property if he doesn't pay?

The buyer signed a contract to make payment of equipment. He signed the contract under his name not a LLC or corp. He decided to stop making payments on the equipment and is 80k behind on payments. Can I put a lien on his personal property and home to force him to pay what he owes or do I have to go to court to force him to pay?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Fred Bopp III
Fred Bopp III
  • Yarmouth, ME
  • Licensed in Maine

A: You will probably have to file a lawsuit. Depending on the relevant facts, however, you may be entitled to a mechanic’s lien. Maine law provides that “[w]hoever performs labor or furnishes labor or materials, . . . or performs services as a[n] . . . owner-supplier of equipment used in erecting, altering, moving or repairing a house, building or appurtenances, including any public building erected or owned by any city, town, county, school district or other municipal corporation, or in constructing, altering or repairing a wharf or pier, or any building thereon, including the surveying, clearing, grading, draining, excavating or landscaping of the ground adjacent to and upon which any such objects are constructed, or in selling any interest in land, improvements or structures, by virtue of a contract with or by consent of the owner, has a lien thereon and on the land on which it stands and on any interest such owner has in the same, to secure payment thereof, with costs.”

If you are entitled to a mechanic’s lien under Maine law, then you need to be aware that there are important statutory deadlines and procedures you must follow and comply with or you can lose your mechanic’s lien rights.

Even if you are not entitled to a mechanic’s lien under Maine law, you can file a motion asking the court to approve an attachment of the defendant's real and personal property, which would allow you to file in the appropriate office or registry "an attested copy of the court order approving the real or personal property attachment, provided that the order is filed within 30 days after the order approving the attachment, or within such additional time as the court may allow upon a timely motion." Additional requirements also apply.

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