How to File a Mechanic's Lien in Indiana

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A mechanic's lien is a legal proceeding to secure payment for goods and services rendered on a piece of property, such as a vehicle or home. The lien will remain against the property and the title cannot be cleared until payment is received for services and the debt is reconciled. In the state of Indiana, a mechanic's lien may be filed if the debt has been outstanding for more than 60 days. To be valid, the lien must be filed and perfected before a lawsuit can be filed and judgment is obtained.

If the property is an existing residential or commercial property, send a pre-lien notice, or a "Notice of Intention to Hold a Lien," to the property owner notifying him that work has been completed and that lien rights are provided to you, the contractor or supplier, in the event of nonpayment. The notice is filed using forms IN-01-09 and IN-01A-09.

Read More: How to Stop an Illegal Lien

If the property is a new construction, file the pre-lein notice with the recorder's office in the county where the work was performed. The notice should be filed 30 days "from the first day the contractor or supplier first provided labor, materials or equipment on the job site." A description of the property must be included on the pre-lien notice. The notice is filed using forms IN-02-09 and IN-02A-09.

If the property owner does not respond to the pre-lien notice, a "Notice of Lien" must be filed with the recorder's office in the county where the work was performed using forms IN-03-09 and IN-03A-09 for existing properties or IN-04-09 and IN-04A-09 for new properties. This notice must be filed within 60 days of the last day work was performed for residential properties and 90 days for commercial properties.

If the lien is settled and payment is received, the lein holder must release or discharge the lein. A partial discharge is completed using forms IN-09-09 and IN-09A-09 or IN-010-09 and IN-010A-09. If the lien is paid in full, it can be released using IN-08-09, IN-08A-09. If payment is not rendered, the contractor has up to one year to file a lawsuit.