What Should I Do When Someone Files a Lien Against My Home in NY?

Written By: Randy J. Heller

5 things to do when liened blog title

5 Things to Check When Liened

1.  See if it is “defective on its face”

  • Was if filed more than 4 months after the last day of work?
  • Does it name the wrong owner?
  • Does it misdescribe the property?

 If yes, then it can be dismissed quickly. If not, it may take something more.

2.  Have it “bonded”

  • Filing a bond can lift the lien off the property and attach it to the bond instead
  • “Bonding a lien” can satisfy a landlord or bank
  • A bond eliminates the encumbrance on title

3.  Deposit 110% of the lien amount with the court

  • This will accomplish the same result as “bonding the lien”
  • This is a useful tool where obtaining a bond is not possible
  • But note that getting the money back often takes time and involves a fee

4.  Demand that the lien be foreclosed within 30 days

  • Failure to commence a foreclosure action results in the dismissal of the lien
  • This strategy is often effective with smaller liens
  • Although one is loath to demand that a lawsuit be started, it usually is not

5.  Call your lawyer

  • Each of these strategies has certain complications and legal wrinkles
  • Sometimes it is OK to do nothing and just leave the lien in place
  • A lawyer can sometimes calm down a lender or landlord who is alarmed

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about the authors

Randy J. Heller


For over forty years, Mr. Heller has specialized in construction law and litigation, representing some of the largest and most successful contractors in the nation.

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