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12/22/2010

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I think there is some merit to disallowing further liens to be filed on an property by a contractor who has been proven to have over billed or who has committed fraud associated with the provision of materials and/or labor to a specific property.

The general contractor should not be allowed to over bill . The invoice format set up by the architect or owner should require contractor to bill only for actual work done and the mark-up.
Having experience as owner, general contractor, and subcontractor, the value of the Lien should be based upon factual costs. There is a possibility that a particular subcontractor could submit bogus liens, or unmerited liens, but that should be another issue, the cost of which should be covered by corrected and justified action. Relief from cost associated with bogus liens should be treated separately from regular invoices.

Jerry Sullivan

If the contractor is involved in fraudulent requests for payment, those payments may be witheld administratively pending demonstration of their legitimacy. The lien rights of the contractor should remain in place because fraudulent behavior cuts both ways. I imagine a contractor's right to perfect the lien would be suspended by the court until resolution of any other action against his alleged breach of contract and good faith.

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