2A:44A-12. Authorized withholding, deductions
12. Upon receipt of notice of a lien claim, the owner shall be authorized to withhold and deduct the amount claimed from the unpaid part of the contract price that is or thereafter may be due and payable to the contractor or subcontractor, or both. The owner may pay the amount of the lien claim to the claimant unless the contractor or subcontractor against whose account the lien is filed notifies the owner and the lien claimant in writing within 20 days of service of the lien claim upon both the owner and the contractor or subcontractor, that the claimant is not owed the monies claimed and the reasons therefor. Any such payment made by the owner shall constitute a payment made on account of the contract price of the contract with the contractor or subcontractor, or both, against whose account the lien is filed.