Construction Liens – Seizure of Materials
If an owner, contractor or subcontractor obtains materials for a construction project but fails to pay for those materials, are the materials subject to seizure? The answer depends on who is attempting the seizure, what debt is being enforced and whether the materials are about to be incorporated into the project. According to Florida Statutes Section 713.17, whenever materials have been furnished and payment has not been made or waived, the materials are not be subject to attachment, execution, or other legal process to enforce any debt due by the purchaser of such materials, except a debt due for the purchase price thereof, so long as in good faith the materials are about to be applied to improve the real property. This section also says if the owner has made payment for materials but the materialman has not received payment therefor, the materials are not subject to attachment, execution, or other legal process to enforce the debt due for the purchase price. In other words, the materials may only be seized by the material supplier, to enforce the debt for the purchase price of the materials, if payment has not been made for the materials and the materials are not about to be applied to improve the real property.