Placing Liens on Homes In Johnson County, Kansas is Way Too Easy

Real Estate Agent with KC House Whisperer

I am very new to the internet blogging world.  I recently created my first blog stating that I will over a period of time blog on different steps in building a new home and overviewing the home building process.  Well, I just received my first comment back about my first blog.  Much to my surprise the comment was about me as a custom home builder and how many liens/suits I had been involved in.  

Because of this comment, I now have another real estate topic to write about.  I want all homeowners in Kansas to know that at any time, anyone can file a lien on their home or any other home for any amount of money.  This lien will stay on the property title insurance for a period of one year or until the person who filed the lien tries to collect the lien amount in court. 

When I began building custom homes in Johnson County, KS, I was quite trusting of clients, realtors and sub-contractors.  I have pretty much lived by the rule that when you agree to do something, you follow through with that agreement per the terms.  Well, shortly after I began building, I found out that a sub-contractor in Johnson County, KS can file a lien against a home at any time and for any amount of money, whenever they want to.  Sometimes sub-contractors will file a lien against a home they were working on even before their work was completed just to have a backup plan if they do not receive payment for their total bill.  Sometimes sub-contractors or realtors will file a lien against a builder or homeowner to try to receive more money for work they performed than the amount of what was agreed to in a contract. 

Needless to say, when this first happened to me as a custom home builder, I was shocked.  All the time I built custom homes, developed sub-divisions, performed whole house inspections, I always treated people openly and honestly.  When a handful of liens were filed against me as a builder over seven years, I very much felt as though I was taken advantage of by a faulty court system in Kansas.  But after talking with other real estate professionals, they all said that's just the way the system is in Kansas, we just have to live with it.   

In summary, just be aware that anyone can simply go to a Kansas County Courthouse and file a lien for any amount against any other homeowner.  Do not be alarmed or feel that you are at fault.  Ultimately, almost all liens filed this way are canceled after one year because the filing party will not attempt to collect the lien amount because they truly do not have any grounds for collecting the amount in the first place. 

I hope this information was helpful for homeowners in Kansas.  I would be interested to hear from other homeowners in other states as to how their states handle liens.

Keith Worrel, KC Construction Specialist Agent






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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Interesting.  In Virginia, my buyers take lien insurance at settlement becuase the subs have 60 days to file a line.  In Maryland it takes a court order to place a lien. 

Welcome.  We need more builders in Active Rain.  Check out Steve Dalton. 


Apr 20, 2007 08:54 AM #1
Inga Czech
Assurity Financial Services - Simi Valley, CA
FHA California Loan Officer

Wow! That does sound very frustrating!

In California before filing a Mechanic’s Lien any potential lien claimant must complete and serve a California Preliminary 20-Day Notice from when they start working on a job.  Any time after that that they see they are not getting paid they can then put in place the lien.

A lawsuit to foreclose on the lien must be filed in the County where the property is situated no later than 90 days from recording of the lien. If they do not file a lawsuit within that time then the Mechanic’s Lien null, void and unenforceable.

An Expired Lien could still make problems for you on title. If that happens the owner may file with Superior Court to have it taken off and then the court will award $1,000 for attorney’s fees against the contractor if he failed to release the expired lien.  Although, the owner must give a contractor the opportunity to release the lien voluntarily first.

You can go to this website for more information on it:


Apr 20, 2007 10:14 AM #2

All truthfulness is you paid your subs for the work that is done you wouldn't have those problems.

Nov 26, 2008 06:40 AM #3
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