LAW OFFICES        

                    JAMES P KOCH 

                    1101 ST. PAUL ST., SUITE 404  

                    BALTIMORE, MD 21202

                    TELEPHONE 410 539 7816

                    FAX 410 539 3957

                    EMAIL jameskoch@jpkochlaw.com 








Commercial collections


Mechanics liens

Commercial Collections

Area covered:  All Maryland state and federal courts

Minimum claim size accepted: $5,000 

The collection process:  We use all necessary methods that are legally available to collect the amount due, including    

    Asset investigations (real property ownership, bank accounts, employment, etc.)

    Attachments before judgment

    Charging orders against partnership and LLC interests        

    Constructive trust actions

    Enforcement of confessed judgment promissory notes 

    Enforcement of foreign (out of state) judgments in Maryland

    Execution on judgment (Sheriff's sale)

    Fraudulent transfer actions

    Garnishments, including bank accounts and wages

    Involuntary bankruptcy        

    Mechanics liens

    "Miller Act" actions (claims involving improvements to government owned real property) 

    Oral examinations of judgment debtor under oath (supplementary proceedings to discover assets)  


     Recordation of judgment lien when necessary to impose lien on real property

    Replevin actions

    Trial in state or federal court when debtor disputes claim


The contingent fee on claims up to $100,000 is generally 25% of the amount collected after suit is filed (1/3 if the debtor contests liability and the case has to be tried in court on the merits). The contingent fee on claims over $100,000 is determined on a case by case basis on a sliding scale. The contingent fee is progressively reduced as the amount of the claim increases. 

In most cases, a non-contingent suit  fee is requested, due prior to filing suit. The amount of the non-contingent suit fee is determined on a case by case basis, based on the size of the claim and the anticipated complexity of the litigation. The non-contingent suit fee is credited against the contingent fee in the final account at the conclusion of the case. 

Commercial claims are also accepted on an hourly basis.

Costs Payable in Advance:

        District Court of Maryland cases (Claims up to $30,000): $100.00 per defendant

        Circuit Court cases (Claims over $30,000): $250.00 per defendant

         U.S. District Court cases (claims over $75,000): Advance costs are determined on a case by case basis

Collection paralegal:  Lisa -  410 539 7814



We have more than 30 years experience representing creditors, debtors, and trustees in matters before the Maryland bankruptcy court, including: 

        Chapter 11 reorganizations 

        Chapter 7 liquidations

        Chapter 13 wage earner plans 

        Involuntary bankruptcy

        Motions for relief from the bankruptcy stay (11 U.S.C. Sec. 362)

        Suits to recover preferential and fraudulent transfers

        Asset valuation disputes

        Objections to the discharge of debts

        Disputes concerning the use and sale of assets

        Objections to creditor claims           


Mechanics liens

An unpaid contractor or subcontractor who has made improvements to real property may obtain a mechanics lien on the property.  

Under Maryland law, all newly erected buildings and existing structures that are repaired or improved to the extent of 15% or more of their value are generally subject to the establishment of a mechanics lien for the payment of debts for work done and materials provided for the building. 

A subcontractor, in order to obtain a mechanics lien, must give the owner written notice of an intention to claim a lien within 120 days after doing the work or furnishing the materials. The written notice must be in the form set out in Sec. 9-104 of the Maryland Real Property Code Ann., and generally must be either personally delivered to the owner or sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. 

In order to establish a lien, the contractor or subcontractor must initiate proceedings by filing a petition in the circuit court for the county in which the real property is located, within 180 days after doing the work or furnishing the materials. After the petition is filed, the court issues an order which requires the owner to show cause why the mechanics lien should not attach. If the owner fails to respond to the show cause order, or fails to show cause why the lien should not attach, the court may enter a final order establishing a lien. If there is a legitimate dispute regarding the petitioner's entitlement to a lien, the court must schedule an evidentiary hearing to resolve the matter. 

The law does not permit an unpaid subcontractor to place a mechanics lien on real property owned by a governmental entity. Instead,  a subcontractor is limited to filing suit against any  surety bond posted by the general contractor.  The statute which sets forth the requirements for asserting a claim against a surety bond posted in connection with a federal construction project is known as the Miller Act. Maryland has enacted a similar statute, known as the Little Miller Act, which sets forth the requirements for asserting a bond claim arising out of a State owned construction project.