How Long Do You Have to File A Mechanic’s Lien?

How Long Do You Have to File A Mechanic’s Lien?

Aug 01, 2023

If you are involved with construction as the owner of real estate or as a contractor, you might have heard of a mechanic’s lien. Depending on the location you work, a mechanic’s lien can also be referred to as a property lien or construction lien. If you’re new to the construction sector and want to know about these legal documents, you’re in the right place. We’ll explain what the mechanic’s lien is, how long you have to file it and more concerning the same.

What Is a Mechanic’s Lien and Its Purpose?

Almost everyone knows the meaning of mechanics, but the truth is a mechanic’s lien has nothing to do with mechanics. Instead, a mechanic’s lien is a legal document that reserves someone’s right to ask for compensation in the event of nonpayment by the person or organization that commissioned them to do some work.

Usually, mechanic liens are filed by suppliers, subcontractors or contractors who have yet to receive any payment for a project they completed or for materials supplied on someone’s real property or a house or land.

It is essential to know that a mechanic’s lien is state specific. You should consult with the mechanic’s lien attorney near you about the specific time limitations for when a lien can be filed, as each state has its time limitation for private and public property.

Therefore, when you file a mechanic’s lien, the owner of a property or construction may be compelled to resolve the lien as soon as possible. This is because the property cannot be sold while the lien is in effect. Any buyer who wants to purchase the property will see the lien in place, which will put them off. This is because if the potential buyer goes ahead and purchases the property, they are held accountable for the liens linked to the property.

When Should a Mechanic’s Lien Be Filed?

As mentioned earlier, a mechanic’s lien is highly state-specific, so you need to check with the mechanic’s lien lawyer in Tulsa to know the time limitation in Oklahoma. For instance, in New York, a mechanic’s lien must be filed within eight months of when the last job was done, or materials were provided. However, if the lien is against a single-family home, the lien must be filed within four months.

Therefore, you should consider the local law and practice because of such minor distinctions, as they can affect the validity of the lien you filed. This is why you should speak with a lawyer from your jurisdiction specializing in construction law.

Besides filing the mechanic’s lien on time, other basic requirements need to be accurate on your lien. They include:

  • Your name and address.
  • The name of who you worked for.
  • Total value you contracted for.
  • The name of the owner.
  • Description of the construction property or materials supplied that you are filing the lien against.
  • The outstanding amount owed to you.

You might have met all the deadlines, but if you fail to provide accurate information about any of the above-mentioned basic requirements, your mechanic’s lien becomes void. Fortunately, if you follow every detail of the book and submit your lien on time, you might find there are many benefits of this legal document.

What Are the Benefits of a Mechanic’s Lien?

Filing for a mechanic’s line has many benefits for you and your company. Some of the benefits include:

  • A mechanic’s lien pressures the owner and the general contractor to settle the lien. This ensures that the owner maintains a clear security interest in the property.
  • The lien creates a specific deadline for when litigation will begin if the payment has yet to be settled.
  • A well-filed mechanic’s lien is very difficult to challenge.
  • When you file a mechanic’s lien, you can file a suit against the property owner and not just the general contractor or the subcontractor. This means that the owner will see the lien, which increases the probability of getting paid.
  • If the debtor fails to pay or files for bankruptcy, the lien gives you (the claimant) the legal right to collect from the real estate or property. The estate can be sold to pay the money owed.
  • Filing a lien shows the parties involved that you’re serious about getting paid.

A mechanic’s lien can give you the confidence that your work will not go unpaid. However, you need to consult with the lawyers near you to ensure that you’ve included every detail required for a mechanic’s lien to make it valid in court.

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