Affidavit, Mechanic’s Lien, & Materialman’s Certificate
Affidavits & Materialman's Certificates
Affidavits are simply sworn statements almost always made in the presence of a notary public or other officer of the court. They have serious implications. Affidavits are used in construction and remodeling to protect the individuals who are paying for the work.
When executed properly, they are 'legal' receipts which will stand up in a court of law. Affidavits, when used in building and remodeling, are sworn statements concerning who worked at a certain location, what they did, who they contracted with, how much money is owed as of a specific date, and what material was used.
Frequently, each state has a specific form which is used to compile all of this information.The individual who is presenting this affidavit almost always has to sign it in the presence of a notary public.
Materialman's certificates are similar to affidavits. However, they often are not witnessed by a notary public. The supply houses, from which you or your contractor purchase materials, can easily prepare this document.
The certificate is somewhat similar to a monthly statement. The certificate states the dollar amount of material which has been shipped to your house up to and including a specific date. Should you pay that amount in full, the supply house usually cannot make a future claim for unpaid debt up to the date on the certificate. They are very precise 'receipts'. Insist on obtaining them every time you hire a contractor.
The importance of affidavits and materialman's certificates should not be overlooked. Often, homeowners feel that their canceled check is good enough. This isn't always the case. Affidavits are the documents which can protect you from mechanic's liens.
If you have legitimate affidavits and materialman's certificates from all workers and suppliers, it will be virtually impossible for those individuals to file a valid lien against your property. You should obtain affidavits and materialman's certificates on all work performed at your house.
Professional contractors will not hesitate to supply you with these forms. They do it on a regular basis with all of their other clients. If a contractor raises an objection concerning these forms, BEWARE!
Mechanic's liens are specific legal instruments meant to protect the interests of individuals who work for or supply goods to an owner of a piece of real estate. A lien can be attached to a piece of real estate by a contractor, a subcontractor, an employee of a contractor or sub, and/or a material supply company.
This lien, in many states, actually becomes public record and becomes a 'cloud' on the title of the real estate. In many states, if you have a lien on your property, refinancing, or selling (title transfer) the property cannot proceed until the lien is paid off or bonded. Liens have extremely serious implications. They should never be treated lightly.
Lien law is basically a good law. Dishonest homeowners, years ago, led to this law. They would contract work to be done on their houses with no intention of paying the contractor. Liens enable a contractor to announce publicly that a debt is unsatisfied.
Because liens can be filed against your property by so many different individuals, you must be aware of how they work and just how they are filed. Once again, I strongly recommend that you consult with a competent real estate attorney in your state to find out what you must do to protect your interests. Do this prior to starting your next project. Do not wait until it is too late!!!!
The problem that many homeowners experience with liens is often the same. In many cases, the homeowner pays a builder or contractor money. The builder or contractor then is supposed to pay all of the workers, subcontractors and material suppliers.
All too often the builder or contractor decides that it is time for a change of address and he or she leaves the area without paying the people who are rightfully owed money. These unpaid people then become your worst nightmare!!!! I have heard this story time and time again from hundreds of homeowners. This is exactly why you need affidavits and material man's certificates! DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!!!!!!!