FAQ: If My Lien Expires, Can’t I Just File It Again?

FAQ: If My Lien Expires, Cant I Just File It Again?

Short Answer:  No.  In a minority of states (like New York), parties can file a mechanic’s lien extension. The majority of states, however, allow no extensions, and the lien will expire when the statutory period runs.

Long Answer:  A few weeks ago we published a FAQ that addresses this issue just a bit:  Does A Mechanic’s Lien Cloud Title Forever?  You wouldn’t believe how many people contact me thinking that their mechanic’s lien will tie up the project property forever and ever, until paid.  When I explain that liens expire after a certain amount of time (depending on your state, could be anywhere from 90 days to 6 years), their next thought is always that they can either file an extension or just file the document again.

First, in regards to extension, we have a specific post on this topic:  Can I File An Extension To A Mechanic’s Lien?  The reader’s digest version of this post is that lien extensions are only available in a minority of states, and they sometimes require agreement from the property owner. Also, its typical that lien extensions can only be filed once or twice.

Second, in regards to whether a claimant can simply re-file their mechanic’s lien, there is an absolute answer to this question:  NO.   Once a lien expires, it is gone forever, and the only way you could possibly re-file your lien is if you were still within in the original lien period.  This is possible, but I wouldn’t rely on it…because even then, some courts may conclude that you’ve already forfeited the right by letting your previous lien expire.

 

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  • http://www.levycraig.com Rob Pitkin

    Kansas allows for the filing of a Notice of Extension that increases the time for filing a mechanic’s lien up to 5 months after the last day of work. KSA 60-1102