Louisiana Mechanics Lien: Material Suppliers Guide To Lien and Notice Requirements

Louisiana Mechanics Lien: Material Suppliers Guide To Lien and Notice Requirements

It’s been a while since I posted about the lien laws in my home state of Louisiana. Plus, I’ve recently been contacted by a number of material suppliers who are either based in Louisiana or who do business in the state, and they are confused about the state’s notice requirements.  There’s good reason for the confusion, as this post will explain.  In short, while Louisiana is typically a non-notice state, there are circumstances when material suppliers must deliver notices to protect their lien rights.

Supplier Notice Requirements On Louisiana Private Projects

The notice required for material suppliers in Louisiana is referred called a “Notice of Non-Payment” (Download PDF Form Free). This notice is unique because it can act like both a preliminary notice and/or a notice of intent to lien.  While there are usually clear differences between preliminary notices and notices of intent to lien, this Louisiana notice tows the line between these two notice types.

Whether this notice must be sent, and when it must be sent, depends on your project.

If you’re working on a residential project in Louisiana, the Notice of NonPayment must be sent to the property owner at least 10 days before filing a mechanic’s lien.

If you’re working on a project where the contract was recorded, the Notice of NonPayment must be sent to the general contractors and the owner within 75 days from the last day of the month in which that material was first delivered.  The trick here is knowing when a contract was recorded, as general contractors and owners are supposed to record their contract on every project, but frequently overlook the requirement. Researching whether this was recorded is work, and so it’s safest, cheapest and easiest to just treat every project as one where the contract has been recorded.

The Notice of NonPayment must be served to the required parties by registered or certified mail, with return receipt requested.  The notice must contain the following information:

  • Name and Address of the Material Supplier
  • General Description of Materials Supplied
  • Description Sufficient to Identify the property against which a lien may be claimed (Legal Description Recommended)
  • Written Statement of the Supplier’s lien rights for the total amount owed, plus interest and recordation fees
  • Identification of total amount owed

Supplier Notice Requirements on Louisiana State Projects

Determining when notice is required for material suppliers is a bit less complex on Louisiana state projects, and that’s because there are no “if’s” to the requirement; material suppliers must always deliver a notice of nonpayment to preserve their lien rights on Louisiana State Projects.

If working on a public / state project in Louisiana, material suppliers must deliver a Notice of NonPayment to the general contractor and the public entity commissioning the work within 75 days from the last day of the month in which the material was first delivered.

Like the Notice of NonPayment for private projects, it must be delivered by registered or certified mail, with return receipt requested, and contain the following information:

  • Name and Address of the Material Supplier
  • General Description of Materials Supplied
  • Description Sufficient to Identify the property against which a lien may be claimed (Legal Description Recommended)
  • Written Statement of the Supplier’s lien rights for the total amount owed, plus interest and recordation fees
  • Identification of total amount owed

Filing Your Lien on Louisiana Private and State Projects

While Material Suppliers have special notice requirements in Louisiana, they file their mechanics lien or state bond claims just like everyone else. Rather than regurgitate Louisiana’s mechanic lien filing requirements, I’ll point you to some great resources previously published on this topic.

Some important things to remember about Louisiana mechanic lien claims are:

  • Get A Legal Description. In Louisiana, it’s critical that you describe the property properly.  While there are some ways to do this without a true legal description, it takes more than a simple municipal address to make this work.  Legal descriptions are the safest bet.
  • Describe Your Work.  Don’t just say you did “work” or “labor” or “supplied materials.”  Dig in and get specific.
  • You must file state liens in Louisiana. In most states, public liens are only sent via certified mail.  They must be filed in Louisiana.

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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+.

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