Since the economy’s nosedive, we have seen many changes to our law practice as well as our way of life. And, perhaps, no industry has been hit harder than the construction industry. When all this began, it seemed as though the recession was nature’s way of thinning out those who had entered the construction industry to make a quick buck; but as Lady Luck kept herself hidden, we began to see good contractors, good suppliers, and good people suffer. The Time remain difficult at best, but we must see this storm through, and give thanks for the blessings in our lives.
Since 2007 and 2008, our practice has shifted from business entity formation and contract negotiation and review to more mechanic’s lien filings, garnishments and commercial collections. We’ve watched our clients’ businesses transform from large private construction projects to government bidding and residential work; we’ve witnessed new business models and new business plans as the construction industry reallocated its resources. Every day, we see clients who are working hard to keep their businesses viable and maintain their work force. We’ve been a part of mergers, public relations, and implementation of new credit protocols as our clients struggle to make their wages in this economy. We have been so fortunate to witness all of this. We have wonderful clients who display their dignity with every new job and each delay and every “promise to pay”. Our clients inspire us, and they remind us that our job is more than a job. We are here to help them along this path. We aid their efforts to meet their business plan goals. We give thanks for each and every client we represent.
Isn’t a fairy tale a moral story–a tale with a lesson? Here is a true story of a recent incident which involved good and evil in the lien filing process and, most definitely, a lesson for everyone who needs to file a materialmen’s or mechanics’ lien in Georgia:
Once upon a time, a materials supply company was asked to provide building materials on a construction project in a land far, far away (somewhere in rural Georgia); the supplies were promptly delivered, they were of the highest quality, and everyone rejoiced that such fine materials arrived in the nick of time to begin the building project.
The credit manager for the materials supply company realized that the big, bad wolf who owned the construction project had not paid anybody who had been working or supplying materials on the project. So, the credit manager contacted her Fairy God Mother at the Cobb Law Group to see if there was any thing that could be done to help the materialman get paid. The Fairy God Mother looked into her book of spells and decided that the credit manager could file a construction lien against the Wolf’s real estate for the value of the supplies. But, the Fairy God Mother warned, the materialmen’s lien would have to be filed within 90 days of the last day in which the material supply company had actually delivered product. Since it was Day 88, that meant the Fairy God Mother had to act fast!
Fast did the Fairy God Mother work–researching title, drafting documents, preparing letters, getting directions to the rural courthouse; finally, with the wave of her wand, the work was finished, and there was one last thing to do: the Fairy God Mother had to file the lien with the clerk of court. So, she hoped into her magic carriage and rode for almost 3 hours to hand-deliver it the clerk of court. If was Friday afternoon by the time the Fairy God Mother arrived at the clerk of court’s office so she filed the lien on behalf of the materialman, paid the filing fees, and requested a time-stamped copy of the lien from the clerk of court.
The clerk of court sent the original, recorded materialmen’s lien to the Fairy God Mother for safe keeping; when it arrived, the Fairy God Mother realized that, although the copy was delivered during normal business hours on Day 89, the lien was not recorded until the following Monday (Day 92) which is after the deadline for filing the lien. The Fairy God Mother was not very happy about that so she called the chief clerk of court in the county where the lien had been filed. The Fairy God Mother was told that the “lien clerk” had been out of the office on Friday (Day 89), but she recorded everything upon her return on Monday (Day 92), and “that’s the way we do it here.” Needless to say, the Fairy God Mother was very upset, but, thankfully, she had a stamped photocopy showing that the lien had been submitted for filing during normal business hours the preceding Friday. The clerk, frankly, was upset and admonished the Fairy God Mother to make sure her clients get their liens in much earlier than the 89th day. The Fairy God Mother retorted that although it is better to file liens early, sometimes that is not possible. She also firmly (but politely) told the clerk that the recording would have to be remedied.
The chief clerk of court called the Fairy God Mother’s office and informed her that the lien would be re-filed and corrected to show a recording on Day 89; so working together, the clerk of court and the Fairy God Mother managed to get the corrections made and duly re-filed, and everyone lived happily ever after….
Do you have any stories about filing documents that you wish to share?