Where Standing, Mechanic’s Liens, and Bankruptcy Collide

Newton cradle shows pinballs colliding

After dismissing certain other arguments, the Court found that Leesburg Building Partners had a good payment defense, denied MBI’s motion to dismiss and declared the lien invalid.

September 17, 2018
Christopher G. Hill - Construction Law Musings

I have spoken often about mechanic’s liens and the implications of such liens as they relate to bankruptcy here at Construction Law Musings. A recent case out of Loudoun County, Virginia added another wrinkle to this discussion, that of standing and what happens on conveyance of the property and what interest in the property is required to allow a party to seek removal of the mechanic’s lien.

In Leesburg Bldg. P’rs LLC v. Mike Berger Inc. the Loudoun County Circuit Court faced the following scenario. Leesburg Building Partners developed certain condominiums and hired Lansdowne Construction to perform the work as general contractor and paid Landsdowne in full for the work. Lansdowne hired Mike Berger, Inc. (“MBI”) to perform concrete work for the project. Landsdowne didn’t pay MBI approximately $48,000.00 and subsequently filed for bankruptcy. MBI, seeking to protect it’s interest in the money it was owed, recorded a mechanic’s lien on the property. Leesburg Building Partners filed an action to declare the lien invalid and have it removed from the property based upon its “payment defense” and the fact that it had paid Landsdowne in full. A relatively simple scenario and one that has been discussed before here at Musings. Not so fast. . .

Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrisghill@constructionlawva.com



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