Archive: April 12, 2013

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New Jersey Court Requires Materials Suppliers to Ascertain Source of Payments Made By Insolvent Subcontractors Under New Jersey Lien Law

New Jersey Court Requires Materials Suppliers to Ascertain Source of Payments Made By Insolvent Subcontractors Under New Jersey Lien Law

L&W Supply Corp. v. DeSilva, 429 N.J. Super. 179 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2012)

In this case, a New Jersey appellate panel expands and clarifies a material supplier’s obligations to determine the source of payments made by purchasers of materials and allocate the payments properly under the New Jersey Construction Lien Law, N.J.S.A. 2A:44A-1, et. seq. (the “Lien Law”).

Pursuant to the Lien Law, a contractor or supplier who is owed payment for work or materials is permitted to file a lien against the real property on which the improvements were constructed. L&W Supply, 2012 WL 6599966 at *1.  The purpose of the Lien Law is two-fold. First, it ensures that suppliers are paid for materials supplied during construction.  Second, it protects owners from paying more than once for the same work or materials.  In order to facilitate the second purpose of the Lien Law, the value of a materials supplier’s lien fund is limited to the unpaid portion of the contract price for the contract for which the unpaid materials were utilized.

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