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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Grucela: Surveyors Should Be Able to File Liens For Unpaid Bills

State Rep. Richard Grucela, D-Northampton, introduced a bill yesterday to protect land surveyors from getting stiffed. It allows them to file a mechanical lien on property when they provide services, just like a contractor.

"Property surveyors typically spend several hours or more taking initial measurements at a site, and larger jobs may require several or more days," Grucela said. "I believe they should be entitled to the same compensation protections afforded to other contractors under Pennsylvania law."

What about title searchers?

Mechanical liens ensure that a contractor gets paid for work performed on a specific construction project. If his bill is unpaid, he can file a lien against the property where the work was done. The lien remains on the property until the contractor who filed the lien is paid.

In 2007, the Mechanic's Lien Law was revised to allow second-level subcontractors and suppliers to file liens, in addition to general contractors and first-level subcontractors.

Grucela notes many other states also allow surveyors to file mechanical liens, and that his bill would update Pennsylvania's Mechanic's Lien Law to reflect current national standards.

What about title searchers?


Anonymous said...

Neither surveyors nor title searchers should have rights under the PA mechanics' lien law because of the limitations that are placed on waivers. Prior to the recent amendments, a general contractor had the ability to file a stipulation (i.e. waiver) against lien that would bind not only the GC, but also any subs he hired. This ability to waive liens protected not only the owner of the property, but also the lender financing construction. Unfortunately after the amendments, except in limited situations, neither GC nor its subs may waive their right to file a lien. One of those exceptions is if the owner or GC posts a bond covering the costs, however, good luck finding a bonding company that would issue one if anyone filed or threatened to file a lien.

The bottom line is that someone providing work to a property, should not have a right to immediately and w/o a hearing encumber the land w/ a lien. It ultimately affects the owner's property rights.

Also, keep in mind that PA has the prompt payment act that affords protection to subcontractors in the event of nonpayment.

LVCI said...

Can you imagine.. The List Of NEW liens possible?

Stretching the point. Where would it stop? Should some or all of these also want in too?
* City Home Inspections, Licensing & Permits
* Radon contactors (tests)
* Realtor (broker's fees)
* Title searcher (as you stated)
* Pest Control
* Lead Based Paint Inspectors
* Homeowners Association
* Advertising
* Surveyors (as you stated)
* Appraisers
* Attorney
* Notary (Fee)
* Gov't. Recorders (Fee)
* Landscaper
* etc.

Can you only imagine agreeing to pay $300,000 for your new home only to have it sprung on you (at settlement) that there's another $50,000 outstanding in liens that contractor stiffed these for? That's like getting double charged. Once for the contractor (cost of the home). The second being the ones the contractor stiffed.

If I understand this right?

Anonymous said...

I’m sorry Rich, this not a good law! It is specific and targeted! It smacks of a political payback!

Anonymous said...

What a perfectly moronic proposal. Where do politicians dream up nonsense like this? Oh yeah, that's how we got the gambling-for-property-tax-rebate scheme that solved all our problems. Is there no end to these brilliant ideas? Good grief.

Jazza said...

Anon 3:34:

How exactly is the Homestead Act a scheme? I certainly enjoyed getting a discount on my school real estate taxes. As an appraiser, I agree with LVCI. Where does it end?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, the assessment of a homeowners' ass'n is more powerful than a mechanic's lien.

As far as this being political payback is concerned. Rich has run w/o an opponent the last three times he sought his seat. I think he is just proposing a law, but you've all stated some pretty big concerns.

Anonymous said...

This is a BS idea. O'Hare mancrush aside. Grucela, wanys yo make a spash ant this is for a future race. I agree thre is certanily the feel of payback or p2p.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Instead of telling us anonymously that Grucela is a crook, why not voice your objections on the merits, as other commenters are able to do. Maybe this is a bad idea, but there's no call for just slamming someone with no evidence, especially when you do it anonymously. Grucela is my state rep and he has always done his best to help anyone who called him, rich or poor. We could use a few more people like Rich.

Anonymous said...

Everyone has a take on P2P this takes no more of a jump of logic or faith than the way you have slamed some folks.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, it does.

When I note P2P, I have a candidate, a contributor, an amount of money and a contract. Here, all you have is Grucela.

Anonymous said...

Hey O'Hare cruzin your topics. Your last statement was very interesting. When you were slaming Ron Heckman as the P2P candidate I forgot what those specific details of proof were, could you clearly lay them out as to the amount, the contract, etc. No fuzzy logic just the facts as you say.

Bernie O'Hare said...

My criticism of Heckman was not directed at Heckman himself, but was directed at the cronies who latched onto him and damned Stoffa based on lies. P2P occurs with (1) contractors and (2) people looking for jobs.

Heckman has been heavily finded by Reibman. Hence, it is my belief that some of the slimy people who worked under him were looking to get back in the door. I would never have reached that conclusion were it not for some of the vicious comments posted here by Heckman supporters.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Grucela the dude who verbally attacked a constituent on this blog?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Grucela defended Wayne Grube against a mean-spirited attack by someone who has no respect for Wayne's memory.

maverick said...

I like Rich, but this proposal will only open a can of worms: where does it start and where does it end.
I recently had a terrible experience with a surveyor who charged me $30K to settle a property line dispute on a small in-town lot; no subdivision. His fee was 6x's my legal fee. He got paid, but I never felt so screwed in all my life. Bernie, you should have been a surveyor !

Anonymous said...

I recall Mr. Grube being attacked for the performance of his public duties as an elected official. I believe he was called a poor steward of taxpayer dollars for his lackadaisical attitude regarding significant cost overruns on the council chambers boondoggle - as detailed on this blog. No personal attack was made.

Mr. Grucela (or someone purporting to be him) chose to respond by personally attacking a private citizen who spoke out. I understand Rich Grucela is a loyal friend. I still can't believe that poster was him, though. It's difficult to imagine him personally attacking a private citizen in such a thuggish way. I'd believe it more so of the Pawlowski bunch.

Anonymous said...

BTW. This proposal is asinine.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, this is a BS proposal. Grucela is sucking up to someone with this one.