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post #11 of 28 Old 08-14-2008 Thread Starter
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Boat is documented.
I do plan on putting 'paid in full' on the check.

Some of you are saying leins can be placed without the knowledge of the owner. So what's to stop me from putting a lein on your boat for whatever reason?
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post #12 of 28 Old 08-14-2008
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You have to show cause to institute legal action.

Ooops ..... unless you're the IRS

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post #13 of 28 Old 08-14-2008
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You can always put the money into an escrow account and if the job isn't done satisfactory, then they would have to correct their mistakes before the money is released. This is that the money is there for the satisfactory job completion and not that you are unwilling to pay for it. Then the courts will look favorably on you.

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post #14 of 28 Old 08-14-2008
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Its my understanding that laws governing liens avry from state to state and on the item in question (real estate is different from cars and may be different from boats.) There is also a federal 'admiralty law' process to place a lien on a documented boat.

In the states that I am familiar with the mechanic needs to present the owner with a notice of intent to lien prior to filing the lien, but there are states that do not require notice. Also, some agreements to perform the work include the language stating intent to lien.

In most states that I am familiar with, putting 'paid in full' on the check does not constitute a legal release of lien. If in doubt, you need to get a signed release of lien indicating that the mechanic has been paid in full.

Filing a lien is the not the same as a judgement in the mechanic's case. In the states that I am familiar with, the contractor would need to go to court to 'perfect' the lien.

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post #15 of 28 Old 08-14-2008
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Make sure all communication from this point forward is documented. Being nice is all well and good, but it may not get your boat back. If it is legal in your state, record all phone conversations. If not, then correspond by certified mail.

I'm a nice guy and would prefer to just talk with people about problems...but it won't matter if they aren't nice or don't feel like working with you.

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post #16 of 28 Old 08-14-2008
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If a lien were filed you can aways contest it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Liens do pop up upon the sale of real property, but many times the party who filed the lien will be willing to accept less then go to expense of proofing the vitality of the lien.
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post #17 of 28 Old 08-14-2008
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Originally Posted by rewell6 View Post
Here's a little trick. When you pay off the bill, put this on the memo line or on the back of the check.

By signing I agree that I was paid in full for all materials and labor.
I imagine that this "trick" is legally worthless and would not hold up in court, if it came to that. Further, if I'm the service provider and the check was for less than was due, I'd be real pissed off. See how fast a Mechanic's Lein is filed now.
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post #18 of 28 Old 08-14-2008
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Maryland lien statute provides that a “Notice of Intent to Claim a Lien” must be served within 120 days of the claimant’s last work. This does not mean that the notice can be sent four months after the last work. There is a difference between 120 days and four months, and this difference can be fatal to a company’s lien rights.

In MI you have the MI Construction Lien Act (AKA the Mechanics Lien Act:
Weirdly, the mechanic's lean act was repealed in 1980 and all 'lien' things are now considered construction.

ON the other hand, you do have a watercraft lien act that has not been repealed, services to your boat 'could' fall under that, I'm not a lawyer in any state.

Michigan Legislature

Act 59 of 1864 (Ex. Sess.)

570.404 Warrant, summons; issuance, contents, return date.

Sec. 4.

Upon filing such complaint, the clerk shall enter the same in a separate calendar to be kept for that purpose, and shall issue a warrant to the sheriff of the county, under the seal of the court, and returnable in not less than 14 nor more than 30 days from its date, containing a brief statement of the claim filed, commanding him to seize and safely keep such water-craft, her tackle, apparel and furniture, to answer all such liens as shall be established against it according to law, and to make return of his proceedings under such warrant within 10 days after seizure; and the clerk shall also issue a summons to the owner or master of such craft, containing a similar statement, and returnable as aforesaid at the same time as the warrant, which said warrant and summons shall be served at least 14 days before the return day thereof.

Of note, there is a 1 year statute of limitations to file.

You are best off paying the claim, and then seeking redress for overcharge in small claims court. I would suggest you provide him a copy of your as yet unfiled claim when you pay the bill. It might help in negotiations, but don't expect to use that particular business again.
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post #19 of 28 Old 08-14-2008
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A lien can be placed if you did not pay for a service; without a court judgment. USCG will place a lien claim against a boat if the service provider sends a letter to the Documentation Center stating the services rendered and the amount of the outstanding bill. This process is antiquated an no "proof" is required to obtain a lien against a boat; (but if it's bogus you are messing with the Fed Gov). A dis-reputable service provider can obtain a lien too easily if you refuse payment IMHO; with out proving that he did a good job or even completed his work. The only ways I know of to get a lien cleared is either for the claimant to send a letter releasing the lien or for the owner to provide proof of payment (canceled check or court judgment, receipt for payment, etc).

It will remain on the "title survey" until the claimant clears the lien or until the boat is sold. If sold to a private party the lien may remain against the boat; if the boat is sold via a broker he must provide clear title to the buyer so the lien is paid off via the escrow account (the seller receives a reduced amount).
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post #20 of 28 Old 08-14-2008
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18 posts and nobody took a bite. With Giu gone, look what is happening to us, threads staying on topic, no jokes, no photoshops . . .!

My mechanic does not lean, he is straight.
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