What to do if we paid a contractor who didn’t pay a subcontractor and now filed a mechanic’s lien has been filed against our home?

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What to do if we paid a contractor who didn’t pay a subcontractor and now filed a mechanic’s lien has been filed against our home?

We hired a contractor in SC to do a remodel job. We have paid him in full, but there are at least 2 subcontractors that we are aware of that are unpaid by him. I have copies of all checks written to the contractor. The kitchen cabinet subcontractor has now put a lien on our property. What steps do we take to clear this up?

Asked on February 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You would have to go to court to prove that the lien was fraudulent.  Really, though, it teeters a fine line.  He did work on the house and he is entitled to be paid. But his contract is not with you it is with the contractor.  As is YOURS.  You need to take the first step and sue the contractor as well.  He breached your contract, I am sure, although I would advise you to go and bring the contract to an attorney to review on your behalf.  If you sue him for return of the money you can give it to the sub and he can execute a satisfaction of lien to be filed.  I would really check on ALL the contractors, building materials suppliers, etc., here.  Might as well get it all over with in one shot.  Good luck.


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