If you record a construction lien, there is the chance the owner is going to serve you with a request for sworn statement of account. Quite frankly, an owner should do this. It is smart strategy and is governed by Florida Statute s. 713.16.
WARNING: YOUR FAILURE TO FURNISH THE REQUESTED STATEMENT, SIGNED UNDER OATH, WITHIN 30 DAYS OR THE FURNISHING OF A FALSE STATEMENT WILL RESULT IN THE LOSS OF YOUR LIEN.
This means exactly what it says. The failure to respond or timely respond will result in “THE LOSS OF YOUR LIEN.”
Unless you are willing to lose your lien–and, perhaps you are–make sure to timely respond. I always encourage clients to have a lawyer assist in the process. Responding to a request for sworn statement of account is not a complicated endeavor and is something that should never slip through the cracks (unless, again, you are knowingly willing to lose your lien rights). By responding, you are taking the owner’s technical argument out of the picture that you lost your lien by not timely responding.
The only time you really do not need to respond to a request for sworn statement of account is if you already initiated your lien foreclosure lawsuit (or, if you previously responded to one and the response is the same). However, even in this instance, I likely assist the lienor in timely responding because, again, a response is not a complicated process.
Please contact David Adelstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.