We saw an episode of a home renovation show on HGTV recently that had an unusual twist. Usually, the contractor finds mold or asbestos in the fixer-upper, or the electrical panel needs to be upgraded to support the modern family's electronics habits. In this episode, though, the contractor receives a call from someone who had worked on the house before, someone who had not been paid for the work.
In a recent unpublished decision, Breidenbach Company, LLC vs. Prosperity Real Estate Investments, LLC (Minn. Ct. App., July 20, 2010), the Minnesota Court of Appeals was asked to determine whether a mechanic's lien was superior and prior to a mortgage held by a bank. The Contractor and the property owner entered into a contract for demolition and new construction of residential property in Minneapolis in April, 2007. The project was financed by a construction loan, which was recorded on June 18, 2007. The bank took photographs on that date, which reflected that the contractor had made no visible improvements as of that date.