A St. Clair County couple claim they were unaware a mechanic's lien had been filed on their property before they bought it.

John and Mary Jo Buckley filed a lawsuit Sept. 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against First American Title Insurance, Wooff Realtors and Jim Westcott.

The Buckleys claim they bought real estate at 314 Geaschel Dr. in Caseyville, which was sold to them by Wooff Realtors real estate agent Jim Westcott.

At the time they purchased the property, the Buckleys were not aware that a mechanic's lien had been placed on it, according to their complaint.

However, they claim the defendants knew of the lien and secretly entered into an indemnification agreement with Abstracts and Title in order to induce the Buckleys into buying the property.

Even though they have demanded payment from the defendants, the Buckleys have received no money, the suit states.

Now, the Buckleys are unable to refinance or sell the real estate because of the mechanic's lien, the complaint says.

In the six-count suit, the Buckleys are seeking actual damages, plus the cost of taxes and insurance, punitive damages, pre-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

They will be represented by Richard G. Reed of Reed and Bruhn in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-522.

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