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.



Scott Wolfe Jr

About Scott Wolfe Jr

Scott Wolfe Jr. is the CEO of zlien, a company that provides software and services to help building material supply and construction companies reduce their credit risk and default receivables through the management of mechanics lien and bond claim compliance. He is also the founding author of The Lien and Credit Journal, a leading online publication about liens, security instruments and getting paid on every account. Scott is a licensed attorney in six states with extensive experience in corporate credit management and collections law, with a specific emphasis on utilizing mechanic liens, UCC filings and other security instruments to protect and manage receivables. You can connect with him via Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
  • 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