Companies Fail To File Lien Claims for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars on Florida Amway Center Project

Companies Fail To File Lien Claims for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars on Florida Amway Center Project

The Amway Center project in Orlando Florida appears to be having money problems. This story from the Orlando Sentinel reports that some contractors are unpaid on the project even six months after they’ve finished work.  And we’re not talking about small amounts of retainage here and there, but debts of up to $2 million.

Money problems on these types of projects is not surprising these days. To me, however, what’s astonishing is this tidbit from the article:

Whitcomb’s company has filed a construction lien against the arena to make sure it is paid the $63,476 still owed. Records show that at least four other companies have also filed construction liens on the Amway Center, ranging from $7,741 to $352,331.

Others haven’t yet taken the legal step of filing liens, but have asked Orlando officials for help in collecting debts as high as $2 million.

It’s beyond me why companies owed significant sums of money on a construction project won’t take the simple step of filing a mechanic lien. Time and time again we’ve posted on this blog that you only get one chance to file a lien, specifically writing an pointed article title: “Promises to Pay Mean Squat to your Lien Deadlines.”

Filing a lien has very clear advantages – check out our “Why Lien” tag here for some talk on how a mechanic lien can help get you paid.  And don’t be one of these companies who ask for help collecting their debts but don’t spend the time and money to file the lien instrument.

Companies Fail To File Lien Claims for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars on Florida Amway Center Project

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  • Frederick

    Why are suppliers and subs filing mechanics liens if the City of Orlando owns the property? Shouldn’t they make a claim on the payment bond?

    • http://www.expresslien.com Scott Wolfe Jr

      Frederick, thanks for your comment. Yes, they should be filing claims against the bond. I think the journalist referred to it as a “lien” because folks commonly refer to state bond claims as liens…but in reality, these guys should be filing (and likely are filing) bond claims.

  • Duane

    Can a contractor place a lien on the City of Orlando’s property?

    • http://www.expresslien.com Scott Wolfe Jr

      Hi Duane – Thanks for stopping by our site and for your comment. If you have a specific legal question and are looking for legal advice about your situation, I would refer you to Avvo.com, which is a lawyer directory. Here, you can ask Florida attorneys legal questions for free.

      In general, when a city, state or federal government owns property, contractors cannot file a lien. This is the general rule across the country (although laws vary state to state).

      However, there are lien-like rights, called “bond” rights. Here, the unpaid contractor files a lien against the bond (as opposed to the property). If on a federal project, the law is the Miller Act. If on a state project, you’re looking to make a claim against the “Little Miller Act.”

      We wrote about this generally on our blog here: http://www.zlien.com/blog/2010/05/the-difference-between-public-and-private-projects/