A plumber we used for repairs sent us a letter saying that they will put a lien on our property if bill is not paid.

Asked by Annaz81, 60053 Fri Nov 18, 2011

We purchased the property 3 months ago and due to some financial hardships we were not able to pay the bill in full. We are currently making monthly payments on this $2,000.00 bill. We cannot pay this in full and plan on continuing to make payments. My question is, if this lien is placed on the property, what are the steps we need to take to remove it once our bill is paid off? We are also concerned on the impact it has on credit scores etc. We do not plan on selling the property any time soon, and this balance will very likely be paid off within a year. Thank you

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Nov 18, 2011
This is called a "Mechanic's Lien".
You might check this with an Attorney;
I heard that if you are making payments, and the creditor has been accepting payments, then they cannot change and sue you for the full amount.
This might vary from state to state, and I might be wrong.
But it sounds good.

Good luck and may God bless
1 vote
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Dec 22, 2011
It sounds as though you didn't "discuss" your situation with the plumber upfront. You've just begun making payments on a $2,000 bill, when the plumber fully expected payment in full.

The plumber has expenses. He has materials to pay for, workmen that he employed. He's out of pocket a certain amount (let's call it $1,000, just for the sake of argument), and you've sent him a few hundred dollars. He's working on negative cashflow, and I understand why he's inclined to put a lien on the property to assure himself that he'll get paid.

Talk to the plumber. Offer him some "incentive" to go along with your "payments". Set up a payment schedule that's agreeable to him, and make sure that you add in some "interest" to make up for the lateness of "full payment" or perhaps even a "late fee" of some sort. And then stick to that schedule.

I applaud your efforts to pay off your debt... but clearly, at least so far, the plumber isn't on-board.
0 votes
Ann Ryan, Agent, Doral, FL
Thu Dec 22, 2011
Anna, since this is a legal matter, I just want to add that you need to document every single thing that happens. When you made a payment, the date the check cleared, when you talked with the plumber, etc. etc. Better to have documents that you won't need, than documents you didn't keep if you face a later legal battle with the plumber.
0 votes
Aimee, Agent, Frankfort, KY
Thu Dec 22, 2011
Just a note, mechanics lien claims are only good for 2 years from the date the work was completed. As a title examiner, after that time I would not even raise that as an exception to title if you were to sell or refinance.
0 votes
Judi Monday,…, Agent, Green Valley, AZ
Sat Nov 19, 2011
Hi Anna

Good news is that this lien, which is known as a mechanic's lien, will not have any impact on your credit score. Mechanics liens are to protect contractors who perform work on a house and aren't paid for that work. I'm sure the plumber is doing it to make sure you continue to make the payments. When you make your final payment make sure to get a paid in pull receipt and remind the plumber to remove the lien.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Nov 19, 2011
It's not going to affect your credit score, Anna, but it is a way for the mechanic to ensure that they get paid. When you are about to make your final payment, remind them that it is the final payment and get a release of lien at the time of final payment.

All the best,
0 votes
Mikel DeFran…, Agent, Canton, MA
Sat Nov 19, 2011
Speak to the plumber... it does seem unlikely that if you are making good faith payments that it makes sense to resort to a mechanic lien... especially since that could be a long, long time before he gets paid. Communication should resolve this if you are indeed working towards paying this off.
0 votes
Suzanne Hami…, Agent, Orland Park, IL
Fri Nov 18, 2011
This is most likely an empty threat to ensure you keep up your payments, as it does cost money to record a lein. Either way, when you give him the final payment (not after), get a release of lein from him that shows that you paid it off. Then you can take that to the county and they will record that the lein was released. Check the recorder of deeds in your county (you can google the website), you can check to see if he has a recorded a lien on your property. But since this can be done at any time, get the release anyway when you give the final payment.
0 votes
Anthony Cava…, Agent, Jolier, IL
Fri Nov 18, 2011
Tell the plumber he's stupid. Why would he pay the money to put a lien on your home when you've been making payments and his statute of limitations isn't anywhere close to being up?
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more