Friday, May 13, 2016

Homeowner Who Paid In Full For New Roof Winds Up w/ Mechanics' Lien On Her Home Anyway As Contractor Stiffs Supply Company Out Of Cost Of Job Materials

In Hudson, Florida, Bay News 9 reports:
  • A Hudson woman may have a new roof and a zero balance on her bill, but a supply company says she still owes money and she now has a lien on her home. “It’s just not right,” Joan Joseph said.

    Joseph contacted Ike’s Roofing earlier this year to replace the roof on her home. She showed us the receipts that show she paid Ike’s Roofing about $7,000 for the work and that her balance was paid in full.

    Joseph then received a notice in the mail from SRS Distribution saying they put a lien against her home.

    “It states here that they, Ike’s, did not pay his bill to SRS and that they were going to start initiating a lien against me,” she said.

    SRS Distribution is the supply company used for the roofing materials. SRS claims Ike’s Roofing did not pay the bill for the supplies, even though Joseph paid her bill in full.

    Under Florida law, the supply company can go after homeowners for unpaid supplies, even if the homeowner paid their contractor in full. These companies can put liens on a person’s home and foreclose on that home to pay the balance.

    “Generally speaking, it’s just as serious as a mortgage foreclosure,” local attorney Trent Cotney said. “A contractor or a supplier or subcontractor can file suit for foreclosure on the home to pay off the lien.”

    Cotney is a lawyer who specializes in lien law and other law related to the construction industry. He is not involved in Joseph’s situation. He said homeowners should get lien releases before making final payments. A lien release protects the homeowner from the contractor or supplier from filing a lien against their home.

    Homeowners can also contact different administrative agencies to file complaints.

    “They can contact their local business department or they can contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation,” he said.

    Joseph has done that – and more. She’s filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the State Attorney General’s office. Joseph also said she has a lien release from Ike’s Roofing, but there is still a lien on her home.

    SRS Distribution filed a lawsuit against Ike’s Roofing in Pinellas County in April. Lawyers for SRS Distribution confirmed this lawsuit, but refused to answer questions about SRS filing liens against customers.

    Ike’s Roofing could not be reached by phone or email. When we went to his business, the gate was locked and no one was there.
Source: Lien placed on Pasco woman's home after contractor fails to pay for supplies (Homeowner paid $7,000 for new roof, balance paid in full, Supply company put lien on home, saying contractor failed to pay, Florida law permits supply companies to go after homeowners for unpaid supplies).