I Didn’t File My Lien On Time…Now What?

Over the weekend, I answered a question over on Avvo.com about mechanic liens that gets asked very often, and I thought it was a good idea to share here.

The question is this:   What are my legal rights as a contractor if my lien is not filed on time?

The question was asked related to Washington law, but the answer is applicable around the nation.   Mechanic liens are an excellent remedy – and I highly recommend preserving and using these rights when needed.   However, they are not a contractor’s only remedy.

What other rights does a contractor have?  Take a look at my answer here:

Liens are a terrific remedy for contractors. If you’re unpaid and file your lien on time, you acquire security rights against the property itself and are legally able to file suit against parties who you did NOT contract with (i.e. the property owner, if you are a sub).

However, if you don’t file a lien, you still have plenty of legal rights to recover what is owed to you.

Your rights, however, are exclusively against the party who you contract with. You have an action against them for breach of contract. The period to bring this suit is quite a bit longer, between 3-6 years, depending on the type of contract.*

*This is the statute for Washington.  Remember that the statute of limitations will be different depending on your state.

It’s important to contact a great construction attorney to bring a breach of contract suit if you are unpaid, and are too late to proceed with lien rights.    Find a construction attorney in your area at Avvo.com.

, , ,

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+.