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Old 06-09-2014, 09:32 AM
Location: North of South, South of North
8,708 posts, read 8,095,186 times
Reputation: 5046


A family member of my son's fiancé have a small recorded lien on their house from a guy that replaced their roof. They paid the bill in full years ago but the roofer never recorded a satisfaction of lien. The roofer is long gone. They do have proof that the bill was paid. How can they go about getting this lien removed from the recorded records? What exactly is needed to do this? This would be for Pinellas county.

I am guessing they would speak to someone in Diane Nelson's office or Pam Dubov's office but I am not sure. Does anyone know exactly what needs to be done to rectify this situation and who they would contact?

Thx much.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:23 AM
Location: Historic Gulfport
464 posts, read 485,910 times
Reputation: 414
First: I am not familiar with FL law; I just moved here this year.

However, my spouse was a building contractor in DC-Metro and had jobs in DC, MD and VA. He has filed mechanic's liens In all of those jurisdictions.

In those 3 jurisdictions, a mechanic's lien is simply the claim by a contractor that work was done that was not paid for. Filing it took my spouse all of 10 minutes at a local courthouse. It was a simple statement by him that a bill was not paid. It DID however result in almost immediate payments from homeowners who thought it was more sinister than it was. BTW, it didn't alarm any general contractors or builders to have a mechanic's lien filed against them; they knew the initial filing was a far cry from a financial lien against the property.

In these 3 states (for purpose of conversation, let's call DC a 'state'), there is no financial lien against the property based on a filing of a mechanic's lien. It is not a true lien until it is "perfected." To "perfect" (accent on 2nd syllable) a lien requires the contractor to file in court within a specified time from filing the mechanic's lien (a year or 6 months depending on which of the 3 states were involved), then send a statutory notice via sheriff's office or process server, to the homeowner. Then they both get their day in court in front of a judge, who determines if the mechanic's lien is a valid claim; if the judge is convinced it's a valid debt, a financial lien is attached to the property. If your family members did not get served with a court summons to appear before a judge, it may mean this lien is a lien in name only, depending on FL law and how it equates to those 3 states with which I am familiar.

BTW; we bought a new house in DC-Metro in the 1980's, directly from a small builder. Two hours before settlement, we were advised by our attorney that a mechanic's lien had been placed against the house that morning! Some sort of a grudge between a sub-contractor and the builder (that was the builder's story anyway). We had already sold and vacated our previous home and wanted the settlement to go through that day. The mechanic's lien was for $1500; our attorney asked our builder if he would put $1500 in a 'trust account' with our attorney. The money would remain there until either the lien was 'perfected' and adjudicated in court by the sub-contractor by the deadline allowed by law (in which case the monies would pay off the lien), or, if the contractor did not file in court by the deadline (6 months in VA), then the lawyer would refund the money to the builder The builder agreed.

After the deadline passed, the attorney checked the lien and it had not been perfected; he refunded the money to the builder. He did not have to do anything with the Court as the mechanic's lien simply 'expired' when the contractor failed to pursue it.

We sold the house about 5 years later and I worried that the lien might be an issue; I checked with the title company and they said they saw the old outdated mechanic's lien but it was obviously never perfected and it was not valid. A non-issue.

Again, my familiarity with mechanic's liens was in DC-Metro (VA, MD and DC). You can probably get a quick answer from your title company, a FL attorney or possibly with a FL court. Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:12 PM
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
13,661 posts, read 17,969,710 times
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If the contractor is no longer in business, there are two options available. You can file the notice of termination or serve notice to contest the lien. Both options are explained in more detail here.

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