Mechanics' LiensContractors and homeowners have a vested interest in knowing about the process of filing and removing mechanic's liens in Ohio. Why? Because if you do work you want to get paid, and if you own a home you want to make sure that you cannot get foreclosed on. The attorneys at the law firm of Harris & Engler are experienced in both sides of mechanic's lien law - that is, the filing and the removing of mechanic's liens. The law firm of Harris & Engler is located in Columbus, Ohio, and the mechanic's lien attorneys at Harris & Engler also serve clients in Delaware, Union County, and the greater Central Ohio area.
What is a Mechanics' Lien?The mechanic's lien process is outlined in the Ohio Revised Code. Filing a mechanic's lien allows someone who performs work toward the improvement of a home to put a lien on the home. The lien basically assures payment for the work because if a lien is properly filed, then the only way to remove the lien is to pay it off.
Whenever a home is sold, all outstanding liens have to be satisfied (paid) before the sale can be completed. The lienholder - that is, the person or company that put the lien on the property - can foreclose on the home in order to force payment. The mechanics' lien is a very powerful tool to ensure payment of work or services performed. If the amount of the lien remains unpaid then the entire property can be forced into a sale in order to pay it.
Mechanics' Lien IssuesMechanic's liens can be troublesome for a number of reasons. First, a contractor who performs work on a home will file the lien for the maximum value of their work. However, if there is a dispute as to the value of the work that was performed versus the dollar figure listed on the mechanic's lien, then the homeowner is put in the difficult position of having to pay the full amount of the lien. Second, the Ohio Revised Code prescribes very specific requirements for properly perfecting a mechanic's lien. If the process is not done correctly then it can be invalidated. Lastly, if a mechanic's lien is improperly filed on a property, or was filed for the wrong dollar figure, then the property owner could sue the lienholder for Slander of Title.
Slander of TitleSlander of Title is just like normal slander, except it involves a false statement about someone's property. This could be something such as claiming a lien on a property in a higher dollar amount than is actually owed, or putting a lien on a property that should not be on the property. The possible repurcussions on Slander of Title are serious.
Slander of Title is a tort, which enables the recovery of compensatory damages plus punitive damages. Accordingly, it is critically important that a lien is filed in the proper dollar figure; otherwise, the potential damages owed to the property owner could exceed the amount of the lien.