Placing A Lien

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AlleganyLawnCare, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    I never had this happen before, so I am not sure exactly how to do it or how much it will cost. I was contracted to do several acres of overgrown (hasn't been mowed for entire year) grass. It took me and a crew of 3 to get it done, over several days (28 man hours total). Plus hauling all of it away. The grass was over 4 and 5 feet tall throughout the entire property. Numerous snakes were killed. Well, the bill was for $1400 (they decided to go with the hourly rate, instead of a flat one price deal. I guess they felt it could be done in a couple of hours). Oh yeah, I forgot, this is an estate property. The two co-executors apparrently hate each other, but want as much money out of the property as possible. It has been over 30 days since the lawyer has gotten the bill. I haven't heard anything yet, and I have to send a past due notice tomorrow. Also, I put on it, if they do not pay within 20 days, there will be a past due fee of $35 and for every month past that, till the bill is paid. I also put on it, that the property will have a lien placed against it if the bill is not paid by the end of the month.

    My questions are as follows: 1. Do I have to go see a lawyer in order to put a lien against the property or just file papers at the courthouse? and 2. How much does it normally cost file a lien? If anyone has experience with this, please let me know. Thanks!

    I found out after the fact, that last (the person past away the beginning of last year) year they pulled the same crap with another lco. When the lawyer got the bill and called them to tell them how much, I got harrassing phone calls and tried to be nice and explain that they decided on the hourly rate and that I told them I was going to bill them for every hour worked. Not my fault they just can't get someone to mow it everyother week to keep it maintained. I guess they felt, if they only mowed it once a year, then it would save them more money that way. Go figure! Plus one week after they got the bill, they had an auction at the house and made 3 times the amount they thought they would. The property is already looking like crap, from the grass growing tall again. What morons!
  2. Killswitch

    Killswitch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 438

    You need a judgement, a Judge before you can put a contractors lein against the property.

    Sue them in small claims court first. Your court clerk should be able to give you the basic advice youll need to file a lein.

    Court clerks are not allowed to give you legal advice so dont hassle them but they are often extremely helpful as to logistics and such.

    There are actually papers you can file after winning a judgement that gives you information about their banking and financials for garnishment as well in many communities.
    Good luck.
  3. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    Thanks. Do I sue the executors of the will or the lawyers representing the property or both?
  4. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    You sue the estate...
  5. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,925

    You need to talk with their estate attorney and explain what has happened and see what he says to this. You can create a lien on any real estate owned by a debtor by registering a judgment with the land records office in any county in which the debtor owns real estate. The property can change title without the lien being satisfied but if money has to be borrowed or the buyer wants a clear title the lien then must be satisfied before clear title can be obtained, and this process will cost you a small fee. I had a mechanic that owed me $1800.00 for 2 years and I kept having him served after I won the judgment against him. This money keeps drawing interest and my judgment cost each time I file is added to the bill so he ended up at about $2300.00. The sheriffs department finally went to his business last week and told him that he tried to screw the wrong person and that I had not let up, so they loaded all his tools and took them to the sheriffs department to sell them on August 18, 2006.
  6. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Bull:nono: ...A mechanics tools cannot be taken when that is the way he makes a living putting him in instant poverty...and the Sheriff is not in the business of collecting personal MOST the judgement would sit on his credit report until satisfied and even that is a maybe...
  7. dc33

    dc33 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 240

    not what I heard, they fail to pay eventually the sheriffs can seise assets in order to recoup payment.
    Sounds like that happened
  8. exmarkdude

    exmarkdude LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    You do not need a lawyer or a judge to place a mechanic's lien on a property. We work for a town doing repossed homes and we submit our bill they automatically put a mechanic's lien on the property. All you need is a legal description of the property, description of services rendered and the cash to file the lien. BTW, you need to file the lien within 60 days of the service provided, if not, then it goes o small claims. You may need to renew the lien if they do not respond, but they cannot sell the property till they pay.
  9. Let-it-mow!

    Let-it-mow! LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    This sucks but...

    You're dealing with their attorney, you need an attorney.

    You've already tacked on a $35 late charge that probably wasn't in the original contract and you will make more legal mistakes before this is over. You don't know the law as well as a lawyer and he will beat you. period.

    Call the estate's attorney and talk to him. Just ask when you can expect to be paid. Don't argue, don't accuse, and definately don't threaten him with some sort of legal action. He won't be scared.

    Having been involved in a couple of estates in my family, I know it can take an awful long time for the lawyer to pay bills from the estate.
  10. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    In FL you do not need a Judgement to place a mechanics lein....At least I never did. I always placed the lein on the property the same day I went to court to file for an appearance. I added the lein to the paperwork I gave the judge.

    I never had anyone question me...But MD may be different...

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