Mechanics lien laws are technical, different everywhere and in every circumstance, and they are hyper-complex. So, no one should know everything about mechanics lien laws. But here are a few things everyone should know about them.
Mechanics Liens Last For Only A Defined Amount Of Time
Many folks think mechanics lien claims impair a property forever. It’s not true.
Each state has a defined amount of time for which mechanics lien claims are valid against a property. California has the shortest period of 90 days, but some states allow claims to go on for years. The average being 8-12 months.
You must foreclose on the mechanics lien before the expiration of this period by filing a lawsuit. If you file the suit before the lien’s expiration, the lien will continue in effect until the lawsuit is resolved.
Notice May Be Required At The Very Start Of Work To Preserve Mechanics Lien Rights
You may be waiting until an unpaid account comes along before you start thinking about filing a mechanics lien. You’d be rolling the dice of being in a state where notice is not required however, and since most states do have a preliminary notice requirement, the odds would be against you.
Preliminary notice ought not be confused with “Pre-lien” notice or a “notice of intent” to lien. These notices are typically required before you file a lien to warn a party that you intend to file the lien. These types of notices are sometimes required too.
However, it is the preliminary notice of importance here, and these notices must be sent at the very start of work, before you are owed money, and must be sent to preserve your right to later file the lien. If you didn’t send notice, and were required to, you’re toast.
It’s Easy To Mess Up
So many folks think filing a mechanics lien is easy.
Okay, filing a lien is not rocket science, and it is merely filling out a form and getting it filed…but, carefulness is important. There are many mistakes you can easily make from incorrectly describing the property, identifying the parties, filing in the wrong location, using incorrect margins, not properly serving parties, and more.
Zlien files mechanics liens everyday for contractors and suppliers across the United States. Trust it to us, and avoid making a costly error.