Consumer Watch: Investigating Illegal Lien Filings

Thursday, July 16th 2009, 2:00 pm
By: News 9

By Amanda Taylor, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A couple of homeowners told the Consumer Watch team that a painting contractor is filing liens against homes - not for the amount owed - but for the total amount the contract was for - regardless of payments that had already been made.

For instance, David Bryan said the contractor was hired to paint his new home. He had an estimate before the work was done for $15,000, and he paid that. But then the contractor came back saying more work was done and he wanted more money.

David disagreed, so the painting contractor filed a lien on the house in the amount of $20,000.

In order to get the lien lifted, David had to post a cash bond of 125 percent of that amount, or $25,000.

The painting contractor said his attorney told him he could file a lien for the full amount and he had to do it for leverage (in order to get paid). But is that legal?

NEWS 9's Consumer Watch team uncovers the surprising answer, tonight on News 9 at 10.