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The problems mechanic’s liens pose to homebuyers

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2017 | Residential Real Estate |

Homebuyers in the Philadelphia area have a lot to worry about when they are finishing up the purchase of their new residence. Aside from the practicalities of re-locating one’s family, there are a lot of financial and legal problems that have to be addressed.

One of these hurdles is a check for hidden liens that are against a piece of real estate. Although the more common types of liens are things like mortgages or liens from a court judgment, there are also other liens that can be hard to spot, even after a thorough title examination.

For instance, when a Philadelphia family hires a contractor to make improvement on their home, which is a pretty common occurrence, then the contractor can take out what is called a mechanic’s lien if the homeowner later chooses not to pay their bill.

These sorts of liens give a contractor, or a subcontractor, a lot of power. They are able to file claims under their lien for the amount they are owed and, if they are not paid, then they can foreclose on a homeowner’s property just the same as bank would. For new Philadelphia homebuyers, it is important to remember that a contractor who hasn’t been paid has a right to the lien even if the person who had him or her do the remodel in the first place then sold off the home.

In other words, a new buyer could wind up stuck either paying the contractor’s bill or having to face the possibility of losing their new home. While one would hope a seller would do the right thing and disclose that they didn’t pay for a contractor’s services or are in the middle of a dispute, some aren’t always so forthright.

Good title searches can prevent these sorts of unfortunate situations from happening sometimes, but not always. It often will take the experience, knowledge and dedication of a Philadelphia real estate attorney to resolve a mechanic’s lien issue.


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