Mechanic’s liens are authorized by statute to allow contractors, subcontractors, laborers, and suppliers to secure payment for their work or materials by placing a lien on the property that was improved. If the statutes’ strict content, timing and notice requirements are not followed a mechanic’s lien may be deemed invalid and unenforceable. Whether you are a contractor who needs to file a lien, or a property owner that needs to get a lien removed, the construction law attorneys at Dworken & Bernstein can assist you. Our team has extensive experience with the following:
- Notice of Commencement
- Notice of Furnishing
- Affidavits of Liens
- Attested Accounts
- Notice to Commence Suit
- Surety Bonds
- Performance Bonds
- Payment Bonds
- Conditional Payment Waivers
- Unconditional Payment Waivers
- Mechanic’s Lien Release Bonds
- Prompt Pay Act Claims
We know contractors and material suppliers need to get paid, and paid on time to keep up with their financial obligations. When payments are being wrongfully withheld, mechanic’s liens are a cost effective option to bring these matters to a head. While there are a number of pitfalls, the two most common mistakes contractors make are, failing to serve a Notice of Furnishing within 21 days of starting a project, and failing to timely record their lien affidavit after their last day on a project.
For most residential projects mechanic’s liens must be recorded within 60 days from the last day work was performed or materials were furnished at the project by the lien holder. For private, nonresidential, commercial projects, the mechanic’s lien must be recorded within 75 days of the last day of work or furnishing. For public improvements contractors and material suppliers have 120 days to record their mechanic’s liens. Untimely liens are invalid, and if filed can expose the filer to a counterclaim for slander of title. The team at D&B can help you get paid and limit your exposure by making sure your mechanic’s liens are valid and enforceable.
We also assists property owners and general contractors, by keeping liens from getting filed, and quickly getting them released if they are filed. Mechanic’s liens interfere with your ability to refinance or sell your property. If your project is liened we will quickly determine if the lien is valid and work hand in glove with you to develop a cost effective strategy to get it quickly removed. If a pay-off is impossible or unwarranted we can serve the lien holder with a Notice to Commence Suit. After receiving a Notice to Commence Suit, the lienholder has 60 days to bring a lawsuit on its lien or abandon its rights. Another option is bonding off the lien. By posting a bond, the lien can be removed from your property and attached to the bond. This clears title to you property so it can be sold or refinanced, while the dispute is litigated.
Timing matters with mechanic’s liens. If you are facing any of these issues call Dworken & Bernstein today for a consultation.