Curran & Desharnais helps homeowners fight mechanic’s lien

It’s bad enough when a contractor takes your money, then won’t finish the work on your home; but, when a subcontractor or supplier comes after the homeowner for the contractor’s debt that is taking it too far.

Attorney Joseph K. Curran, Jr. of Curran & Desharnais was faced with such a case. Attorney Curran successfully defended a Dedham couple who was being forced to pay approximately $48,000 owed by a defunct contractor. It was especially painful for the homeowners since they had already paid for the labor and materials – or so they thought.

The homeowners hired a general contractor to build a home for them in 2008.  The couple had paid approximately $380,000 toward construction of the house when they found out that their general contractor was not paying his subcontractors and suppliers from the funds that he had received for the work. To make matters worse, the general contractor informed the homeowners that he would not return to the project unless they agreed to enter into a new contract and pay even more money than was originally quoted in the contract price.

After the homeowners fired the general contractor, several subcontractors and suppliers placed mechanic’s liens on their home.  The mechanic’s lien statute is intended to protect subcontractors from owners who fail to pay for work, but has also left many homeowners paying the bill (sometimes twice) when unscrupulous contractors default on projects.

Attorney Curran showed that the homeowners paid for everything they were supposed to and had been taken advantage of by their general contractor. After a bench trial, Judge Thomas Barrett of the Plymouth County District Court agreed and decided that the subcontractors had no right to collect from the homeowners.

Construction Law

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