We protect the interest of specialty subcontractors and material suppliers throughout the State of Georgia; since the Cobb Law Group has been in business over 20 years and since we represent many national companies who supply products, materials and services on public and private projects, we have prepared, filed, and enforced countless materialmen’s liens and payment bond claims in Atlanta, Georgia and throughout Fulton County. We regularly represent out-of-state suppliers as well as local subcontractors and building material businesses as they perfect their lien rights and recover the money they are owed.
Every situation is unique, and there are no guarantees that a similar situation will be resolved the same way, but our case studies have helped our clients better understand Georgia’s lien law requirements and help our construction lawyers use every situation as a learning tool as we continue to successfully build our practice focusing on Georgia subcontractor law. The following case study indicates a successful partnership between our client and our construction lawyers working together on projects located in three different Georgia counties to make sure that our client received timely payments.
Our Client: The Cobb Law Group is very fortunate that virtually every client becomes a regular client, as well as a friend; because we understand the unique needs of subcontractors and supplier, we offer quality legal representation at competitive rates, we know Georgia construction lien and bond law, we have a unparalleled track record for recovery on construction contract matters, and we are honest, courteous and punctual with every client. The client, which is the basis of this case study, has been a client of our firm for several years, and we have successfully filed, defended and enforced multiple lien claims on its behalf in and around Atlanta, Georgia. This client is a regional Georgia plumbing contractor with an excellent reputation installing and maintaining plumbing particularly on Atlanta-area apartment complexes. In fact, they are used by many of metro-Atlanta’s most well-known apartment and condominium complexes, and on occasion, they do not receive payment for their materials and services.
The Project Owner: One important thing to know when performing work on apartments is whether or not the owner of the project is also the manager. In this case, our client was working directly for the project owner which negated the need for a Notice to Owner or a Notice to Contractor. The project owners own many apartment complexes in Atlanta and throughout the metropolitan area. They contracted with our client to upgrade the plumbing at three separate complexes–one in Atlanta (Fulton County), one in Decatur (DeKalb County), and one in Conyers (Rockdale County), Georgia.
The Work: Our specialty contractor completed the work on all three projects; however, when it was time for the final draw and the release of the retainage, the project owner did not pay. Our client called, sent letters, and made requests via email for their final draw and payment of the retainage; however, they did not receive any substantive responses.
Three Liens Filed: Our client contacted us and requested that we file claims under the Georgia Mechanics and Materialmen’s Lien Act to help them ensure their right to payment. Since there were three projects, we were required to file three separate lien claims in Fulton County, DeKalb County and Rockdale County. Fortunately, our client kept separate records for each of the projects, thus, the amount of each of the liens could be easily established, and if litigation were needed, the back-up documentation was available. We ran real estate title reports for the properties in Fulton County, DeKalb County and Rockdale County and, consequently, prepared the Georgia mechanics and materialmen’s lien for the plumbing contractor, and provided the project owners with the statutory notices required by Georgia’s lien statutes.
Payments for the Contractor’s Liens: Within two or three weeks of filing our client’s three lien claims, the lawyer for the owner of the apartment complex called one of our Atlanta lien lawyers to discuss the situation. The owners did not dispute the quality of our client’s work, nor did they dispute that the debt was due; instead, it was claimed, they just did not have the money to pay our client for its construction services. One fact emerged, however, of which our client was not aware: each of the apartment complexes was for sale! Over the next five months, one-by-one, the complexes sold beginning with the apartment in Conyers in Rockdale, County, Georgia, then the Decatur apartments in DeKalb County sold; and, finally, the apartments located in Atlanta in Fulton County, Georgia sold. At each apartment’s closing, our client was given payment in full for the value of the materialmen’s lien we had filed on their behalf along with interest and attorney’s fees in exchange for their lien release.
Lessons Learned: Our client filed three Georgia materialmen liens including one in Fulton County; they had the legal costs to prepare these liens, and there were some other relatively minor costs associated with the settlement and negotiation of the amounts due, but as each property against which they held a valid claim of lien sold, they received payment in full. If our client had not been able to file their construction liens in DeKalb, Rockdale and Fulton Counties, they likely would not have ever received payment for their services as the owner (the entity with which they contracted) is effectively out of business in Georgia.
Fair Legal Costs: Our Atlanta construction lawyers value our client’s resources and we strive to provide the best lien filing services for a fair fee. In this case study, our client recovered their full principal, accrued interest and attorney’s fees. However, it is interesting to note that even if we deducted our costs from the recovery, our fees would have been less than 3% of our client’s recovery.
Listed below is contact information for the Fulton County Clerk of Court in Atlanta for any questions you may have prior to contacting a Georgia lien lawyer (please note this information may change without notice):
Fulton County Superior Court Clerk
ATTN: Materialmen’s Lien Filing Desk
Fulton County Courthouse
136 Pryor Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Mechanic’s Lien Filing Fees:
$5.00 for the first page and $2.00 for each additional page
The information contained on this website is for information purposes only; you are directed to consult with your attorney regarding the risks involved in filing mechanics and materialmen’s liens as well as all other aspects of lien filing including, but not limited to proper forms, conditions precedent, legal descriptions, notice requirements, and the statutes of limitations. Nothing contained herein creates an attorney-client relationship between the Cobb Law Group and you. Furthermore, no warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the data herein, its use or interpretation. Please contact us for further information.