Filing a lien against a house provides a creditor with some security of payment by a homeowner. In Maine, courts allow filing of liens against houses by several entities. Contractors or subcontractors that performed work on the house, or provided materials under a contract with the owner and have not been paid can file liens, called mechanic's liens. The federal government can file liens for unpaid income taxes owed by the owner, while municipal governments can file liens for unpaid property taxes. You file a lien against a house in Maine with a Registry of Deeds.
File a mechanic's lien by filling out a certificate of lien with the registry of deeds of the county where the property is located within 90 days of the last supply of labor or materials.The time limit refers to 90 calendar days. A lien holder can enforce a lien after filing a certificate of lien, even if the homeowner sells the house before the work is completed.
Read More: How to Find Out if a Lien Was Put Against Your House
Locate the Registry of Deeds in the county where the property is located by calling the county courthouse or conducting an online search. There are two Registry of Deeds offices in Aroostook County, so be sure to get the one that covers the location of the house.
Fill out a certificate of lien. There is no specific form, but a certificate of lien for a mechanics lien must include an identifying description of the property covered by the lien and the names of the property owners, if known.
Sign the certificate of lien, swearing to the accuracy of the information. You must have the form notarized, according to the Cumberland County Registry of Deeds. Mail or take the certificate to the Registry of Deeds in the county where the property is located, along with the filing fee.
Enforce and preserve the lien by filing a civil lawsuit in the county where the property is located within 120 days of performing the last work on the house, or furnishing the last materials. Without the lawsuit, the certificate of lien expires. Contact a lawyer to handle the civil lawsuit.
- Maine.gov, Maine Revenue Services: Important Notice About Property Taxes For Buyer and Sellers of Real Estate
- AllBusiness.com: Mechanic's Liens in Maine
- USLegal.com: Maine Construction Lien Law
- Internal Revenue Service: Lien Filing Requirements
- Saco Maine: The Pepperrel Post: Property Ownership Issues
Jeanne Young began writing professionally in 2000. She was the government reporter for a daily newspaper in central Florida. Young has also covered general assignment and the business, health, science, environment and education beats for newspapers and a wire service, and written about money and politics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of South Florida.