A mechanic’s lien helps ensure payment when work has been performed on a property that would normally be paid upon completion of the job or when specific performance metrics are met.
The mechanic's lien process is open to a number of parties. This includes anyone who worked with the property owner, prime contractor, subcontractor, or agent of any of these parties. The process is commonly used by:
- Design professionals
- Equipment lessors
- Material suppliers
The mechanic's lien can’t be filed until all the work that was in a contract has been completed or the project has been terminated or shutdown. The affected party must file a mechanic’s lien within 90 days from the completion of the project as a whole or 60 days from the notice of completion or cessation. Businesses that didn’t contract directly with the property owner have 20 days to send a preliminary notice via certified mail.
Once the lien has been recorded, a business has 90 days to enforce (foreclose) the lien by filing a lawsuit. The lawsuit should name all interested parties to the action, which includes the property owner, lenders, and any other businesses that have recorded liens against the property. The mechanic's lien becomes unenforceable if the lawsuit is not filed within the appropriate deadline.
Why Legal Representation Is Vital
The process of filing a mechanic’s lien is very technical. For example, the lien itself must include:
- A statement of your demand
- The property owner's name
- A complete description of what the lien is for
- The name of the party who hired you
- A detailed description of the job site, preferably using the legal property description
- A proof of service affidavit attesting to delivery of the lien to all required parties
- Statutory notice statement
Even small mistakes can result in an invalid claim, so it’s vital to work with an experienced construction litigation attorney to protect your company's financial interests. Call our office or complete our contact form today to learn how Stone LLP can help.