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Pa. House bill protects homeowners from mechanics' liens

Published March 31. 2012 09:01AM

Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) recently voted in support of legislation that passed in a bipartisan manner through the House that would protect Pennsylvania and property owners from unfair mechanics' liens filed by subcontractors if those property owners paid their contractors in full.

"As many homeowners have discovered, these threats against properties prohibit them from selling or refinancing their homes, as well as obtaining other types of loans," said Heffley. "The liens also make it difficult for property owners to receive services for work still under warranty."

Measures of House Bill 1602 would eliminate the ability of subcontractors, suppliers and others to file liens on owner-occupied residences when the monetary obligations have been paid in full. Under the legislation, a property owner would file a notice when work starts, which would require all subcontractors and suppliers to provide owners with notice of the work they are performing or the materials they are providing. These notices might be filed through a website.

The commonwealth has recently seen an increase in the number of unsuspecting homeowners who have discovered mechanics' liens against their property after paying a general contractor in full and closing on their newly constructed home. There have also been more frequent cases of homeowners having paid a general contractor in full for home repairs, only to have a subcontractor and/or a supplier file a mechanics' lien against their home.

"I've recently spoken with various realtors and property owners in Carbon County regarding the importance of protecting property owners from being victims of these unfair mechanics' liens once they've paid off their full obligations to their contractors. It just doesn't make sense for a property owner to pay for the same project twice," said Heffley.

The Carbon County Association of Realtors, as well as the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, support House Bill 1602. The bill also protects homeowners from mechanics' liens once closing has occurred on newly constructed property. House Bill 1602 now heads to the Senate for consideration.

For more legislative information, visit Heffley's webpage at

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