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Placing a lein on a property.


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Long story short, last year I performed an inspection for a guy and the payment was supposed to come out at closing. The realtor never submitted my invoice to title company and I don't get paid. I spend the next couple of months trying to get the deadbeat to pay up. No response to emails and phone calls.

I want to put a lien on the property but am unsure about the logistics of the matter. any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I doubt that you can put a "Mechanics Lien" on the property. He did not own the home when you did the inspection. You might want to check with your state, but when I looked into this many years back this was the obstacle. Also a lien on the property does not mean that he has to pay anything until the house is sold or refinanced. You also have to renew them on a yearly basis and the cost more money.

Bet thing you can do, if you have a signed contract is to head to small claims court. This is what this type of court is designed for. If you can prove that you did the inspection, you have the contract that says your client will pay X number of $ for the inspection you will most likely be awarded the fees by the court.

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  • 2 months later...
Originally posted by Scottpat

I doubt that you can put a "Mechanics Lien" on the property. He did not own the home when you did the inspection. You might want to check with your state, but when I looked into this many years back this was the obstacle. Also a lien on the property does not mean that he has to pay anything until the house is sold or refinanced. You also have to renew them on a yearly basis and the cost more money.

Bet thing you can do, if you have a signed contract is to head to small claims court. This is what this type of court is designed for. If you can prove that you did the inspection, you have the contract that says your client will pay X number of $ for the inspection you will most likely be awarded the fees by the court.

So sorry! I suggest you move on. Don't throw good time after bad money. Kharma is the ultimate accounting system.

Next time...can you get the Realtors credit card number as back up? That may encourage him to pay more attention at closing. [;)]

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So sorry! I suggest you move on. Don't throw good time after bad money. Kharma is the ultimate accounting system.

Next time...can you get the Realtors credit card number as back up? That may encourage him to pay more attention at closing.

Ellen is so right. It'll eat you alive if you dwell on it.

I owned a business for over 20 years that had a significant accounts receivable number in the general ledger. Every year I wrote off maybe 5 % of that number as noncollectable. It KILLED ME to have worked that hard for the money and then let a deadbeat have my parts and services for free.

That was the wrong attitude.

The fact that I extended credit to people in need brought me a lot of business.

I earned money on the receivables because after a 30 day grace period I charged interest on the outstanding balance. (Coincidentally, the interest earned almost always equaled the annual uncollected debts)

After a while I considered those losses as advertising expense. If I stopped extending credit I'd stop helping folks who needed help AND I'd lose the ability to earn 95% of those gross revenues.

You accept payment at closing. Advertise that and accept your losses as advertising expense.

I must say this: Payment at closing is the same thing as endorsing the house. I disagree with and feel the practice is as unethical as the realtor who imposed it on you and then failed to see that you got paid. It incorporates you into the deal and eliminates your status as an objective third party.

Here's a recent email from a client. I wonder if I would have the same email in my box right now if I contracted to be paid at closing.

Chad

Thanks for everything. Your inspection saved us alot of money. That deal is now dead. If we find something else we will contact you.

Again, Thanks for your help.

Bill

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I've been down the deadbeat road just once so far (paid with a check, then stopped payment). I have a lien against a house here that cost me $12 to register at the county courthouse, which assures that the owner will never be able to sell his property without paying me. I'm not spending any time or energy pursuing him, but someday the check will come in.

Brian G.

Don't Make It a Crusade, But Don't Give Up Easy [8]

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