Residents billed in site work dispute

Residents billed in site work dispute

There are 39 comments on the The Morning Call story from Jun 22, 2009, titled Residents billed in site work dispute. In it, The Morning Call reports that:

At first, Tracey Demaria thought the letter she received last week was a mistake.

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West End Resident

Allentown, PA

#21 Jun 22, 2009
Nice try wrote:
Not so simple. There is a standard exception in owners title policies for unfiled mechanics liens. People rarely proceed with the necessary steps eliminate that risk. There is still an opportunity to challenge the lien itself and hopefully the site work was done in connection with an improvements agreement otherwise the Township will not be involved. Stipulations and Waivers Against Liens should be something EVERY new homeowner inquires about. Why should contractors get stiffed? The home purchasers benefited from the work. Their quarrel is with the DEVELOPER. Good luck with that. And by the way this is why you should pay for an attorney to do your real estate closing. If he or she screws up at least you would have someone else to blame (and sue).
Except that the title insurance company should have asked for affidavits / representations/ warranties from the developer/ contractors to 'take off' that exception. If the developer's representative lied that often - then there's a fraud and possibly a racketeering charge waiting to happen here = fines and jail for the individuals involved. So we'll see about that.

Besides - if that wasn't done, the first mortgage lender bank then would be exposed to being 'primed' by the Mechanic's Lien, so that its mortage would no longer be first but would be second [or deeper]. No bank should accept that - they should be insisting on that exception being removed before the bank accepts the title insurance policy. If they didn't, then they're in the soup as well, and with far more at stake than the homeowner. So I don't see the homeowners really at risk here - but a lot of other people - supposed 'professionals' in this business - are.
Sound Reasoning

San Jose, CA

#22 Jun 22, 2009
Kevinw wrote:
Wow. This is akin to having someone come to your home to put siding on the house. The work is done, the bill is paid and another guy comes by and says,'gee I think the work was shoddy or not completed. Let me go and finish it the right way regardless of having the property owner's permission. Then I'll bill them afterward.'
No, it is more like the first owner had new siding installed in preparation to sell the house, never pay for the siding, and sold the house. Now, after not getting paid for months, the siding guy knocks on the door looking to get paid for the siding.

The new owner might want to say "I never asked for you to installed siding". While that is true, the previous owner did, and the new owner is "enjoying" the new siding.

The siding guy has every right to place a Mechanic's Lien against the house with the new siding, even if the new owner things that is unfair, and thinks he paid the old owner for the siding.
che

Bethlehem, PA

#23 Jun 22, 2009
I can't believe these rich people whining about $1,000 bill. Most of these people that live in these $300,000 houses have purses that cost more. I bet they all have healthcare too. I can't wait until we tax them so we can get our healthcare too. YES WE CAN!
Hellertonian

Allentown, PA

#24 Jun 22, 2009
Sound reasoning, indeed. This answer is absolutely the correct response to this situation, and future homeowners would do well to take this story for the cautionary tale that it is. That thousand dollars (or less) you think you're saving by buying and settling on your McMansion without the aid of a competent real estate attorney may well be sacrificed down the line to unpaid contractors and subs. It's something I like to call the "dumb tax".
Sound Reasoning wrote:
First, these homeowners should have used the services of a GOOD real estate attorney when the purchased their homes. A good attorney would have made sure that the builder had releases from all the contractors and sub-contractors documenting in writing that they have been full paid.
Second, these homeowners should have title insurance. Not just for their mortgage company, but also a policy for themselves. If they did, they could just forward these bill to that insurance company for payment.
Pretty simple, no?

“Perseverance Furthers”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#25 Jun 22, 2009
All the legitimate solutions here involve lawyers, frankly I don't see them as a solution, but more as the problem.

Since: Feb 07

Middle Village, NY

#26 Jun 22, 2009
Alan Myers could always come in and take their materials back...
JK. That wouldn't do anybody any good, obviously.
They're doing what they've gotta do. It's a shame they had to go to this level because of a dead-beat company.
Um no

Florham Park, NJ

#27 Jun 22, 2009
truth wrote:
I hardly read the article cause I was looking at the hot soccer mom sitting in her driveway... mmmm mmmm....
lol There are two more pics.
wizard5by5

Easton, PA

#28 Jun 22, 2009
West End Resident wrote:
<quoted text>
Except that the title insurance company should have asked for affidavits / representations/ warranties from the developer.
You are right, the title insurance companies who were paid to check that there is no problem with the house or land should be paying the bill if the builder will not pay. You are required by the mortgage companies to have this done before they lend you the money to buy a house.
West End Resident

Allentown, PA

#29 Jun 22, 2009
Hopfly wrote:
All the legitimate solutions here involve lawyers, frankly I don't see them as a solution, but more as the problem.
Then you're just 'fair game' for the scam artists, unscrupulous merchants, undercapitalized developers, fly-by-night contractors, etc. that prey on people who are so convinced that they 'know-it-all' that they'll never consult with a lawyer or other professional that might cost them a few dollars. Pay them now, or pay someone else later - that's your choice, in real life.

But I'm OK with that - just like the wolves and lions that prey on the slow and cripples in the herd while the fit ones get away - I'll continue looking out for myself, and you can be secure in your ignorance and bitterness - at least until until YOU become their next target.
West End Resident

Allentown, PA

#30 Jun 22, 2009
Gene Pool Lifeguard wrote:
<quoted text>
Funny you said the NJ thing. All of our problems are with NJ companies.
Yeah - I knew that -'been there, done that'. Just 'the usual suspects', that's all. Thanks for confirming it.

Good luck to you. It'll probably take a while, but you'll get your money from somewhere's further up the food chain - though not from the homeowners, I believe.
Sam

Norfolk, VA

#31 Jun 22, 2009
I think they did this to put pressure on the builder to pay.

It is probably working.

Nice move, politically.

Neither the GC or the sub actually care about the homeowners.

--- I noticed someone say they're rich. That's all relative, and let's say that they are, for a moment. In that case, they'll just get a good attorney and never pay.
Common Sense

United States

#32 Jun 22, 2009
che wrote:
I can't believe these rich people whining about $1,000 bill. Most of these people that live in these $300,000 houses have purses that cost more. I bet they all have healthcare too. I can't wait until we tax them so we can get our healthcare too. YES WE CAN!
Are you really that desperate for human contact that you are trolling for a reaction with pathetic comments like this? You have my sympathy!

Since: Feb 07

Middle Village, NY

#33 Jun 22, 2009
Sam wrote:
I think they did this to put pressure on the builder to pay.
It is probably working.
Nice move, politically.
Neither the GC or the sub actually care about the homeowners.
--- I noticed someone say they're rich. That's all relative, and let's say that they are, for a moment. In that case, they'll just get a good attorney and never pay.
It's not that the sub doesn't care about the homeowners - but they've got bills to pay and have to think about the welfare of their employees, too.
Um no

Florham Park, NJ

#34 Jun 22, 2009
che wrote:
Most of these people that live in these $300,000 houses have purses that cost more.
Which ones?
jamie

Milford, NJ

#35 Jun 22, 2009
If the developer went bankrupt this might be the contractors way to get his money. This looks like it should be under the control of a bankruptcy Judge. If the contractor was not getting paid, why did he continue to do the work. Somebody pulled the wool over his eyes! Contractor never heard about "no pay-no work". He should have shut it down in the middle of the job. How much was he already paid? One heck of a businessman when he continued to work without getting paid.
Unhappy in Lehigh

Northampton, PA

#36 Jun 22, 2009
If the situation is that the $150,000 was for paving the streets and not individual driveways, then all of the comments about "this should have been cleared by the title ins./first mortgage company" stuff is moot. Typically, the street is the last thing done, after most, if not all, of the homes are complete and sold then the streets deeded to the municipality... If this is the case, then actually, it is the township who owns the street and should subject to the payment requests.

Now, if the work was pre-construction (e.g. initial road beds/rough coat), then it might get a bit more gray...

IMHO, the residents should turn around and sue Atlantic VB LP (if still in business--as it sounds since the reporter tried to contact them...) for more than just what the paving company is asking...
Unhappy in Lehigh

Northampton, PA

#37 Jun 22, 2009
jamie wrote:
If the developer went bankrupt this might be the contractors way to get his money. This looks like it should be under the control of a bankruptcy Judge.
If the developer did go bankrupt, then the paving company is considered a creditor of that company and should go through that process. If they failed to file claim, or did and didn't get paid, I doubt they should be able to go after the home owners.
It would be like those who were creditors to Chrysler who lost out in the [incorrectly handled] bankruptcy turned around and went after those who bought cars... Similar concept: person bought thing in good faith, company took payment by never paid sub-contractors (lenders, part suppliers, etc), company goes bankrupt and sub-doesn't get paid as part of the settlement... No way they can't go after the guy who bought the car...[though, who ever thought someone who owned legally secured "first in line" bonds would end up last behind the Fed and the Unions, but I digress...]
If Atlantic VB LP still is operation, they'll be most likely subject to a rather large secondary suit brought by the home owners...
CCG

Philadelphia, PA

#38 Jun 22, 2009
jamie wrote:
If the developer went bankrupt this might be the contractors way to get his money. This looks like it should be under the control of a bankruptcy Judge. If the contractor was not getting paid, why did he continue to do the work. Somebody pulled the wool over his eyes! Contractor never heard about "no pay-no work". He should have shut it down in the middle of the job. How much was he already paid? One heck of a businessman when he continued to work without getting paid.
Allen A. Meyers is only one of the largest site contractors in the WORLD. They must not good business people to become that successful.
Amy b

Glen Lyon, PA

#39 Jun 23, 2009
Lynn wrote:
<quoted text> 300,000 homes are not mini-mansions in my opinion. you can bet most of those homes are owned by working class families and 1000.00 is a BIG deal. stop judging.
You are correct. 300,000 is a Mcshack in this economy. Funny thing is a lower bucks mcdevelopment has THE same house as in the picture, stamped out five times on one road !. So much for buying something unique lol little proch that is too narrow for even her kid to sit on. Mctrash !

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