The process for filing a Nevada lien depends on the type of lien rights you’re seeking. Those who wish to collect a court judgment against a debtor can file a “judgement lien” against the debtor’s property, simply by filing a statutory lien form. Filing a “mechanic’s lien” is more complicated, but following the right steps should protect the right of someone who participates in the improvement of real estate to be paid the money owed to them.
About the Nevada Mechanic's Lien
In Nevada, anyone who provides labor and/or materials valuing over $500 for the repair or improvement of property has the right to file a "mechanic's lien" for the value of their services. This includes contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, surveyors and others working on a construction project. Workers must be licensed, if required, to perform the work. The lien essentially puts a hold on the sale of the property until the contractor's invoice is paid.
Read More: How to Respond to a Mechanic's Lien
Filing a Mechanic's Lien in Nevada
Because the mechanic's lien is such a powerful tool, it requires special filing rules. In general, follow these steps:
- Send a "Notice of Right to Lien" by certified mail to the property owner and the general contractor within 31 days of starting work on the project. You'll find links to the statutory forms in the Resources section. This preliminary notice alerts the homeowner that someone is providing labor or materials and will have a right to lien if you are not paid.
- Give the homeowner a "Notice of Intent to Lien" at least 15 days before you record your mechanic's lien.
- Fill out the statutory "Claim of Lien" form including a detailed bill and statement of services and a description of the property to be attached with the lien.
- File the Claim of Lien with the county recorder in the county in which the property is located. The deadline for filing is 90 days from the end of the project or the date that you last provided labor or materials, whichever is later. The deadline reduces to 40 days if the homeowner files a Notice of Completion of the work.
- Deliver a copy of the Claim of Lien to the property owner and general contractor personally or by certified mail within 30 days of filing the claim.
Filing a Judgment Lien in Nevada
In civil court actions, it is common for a judge to rule that one person (the debtor) should pay money to another person (the creditor) in settlement of the lawsuit. If the debtor doesn't pay, the creditor can take out a "judgment lien" against the debtor's home, land or such personal property as jewelry, antiques and art. Attaching a judgment lien is relatively straightforward since you already hold a court judgment against the debtor. Simply fill out the statutory lien form and file it with the county recorder in any Nevada county where the debtor has property. When the home is sold or foreclosed, you should receive your money.
How Long Does a Nevada Lien Last?
A Nevada lien does not last forever. You must enforce a mechanic's lien and foreclose the property within six months of filing the lien, or apply to extend the lien for no more than six additional months. If you don't initiate a lawsuit in this timeframe, the lien lapses and is lost forever. A Nevada judgment lien stays in place for six years, even if the debtor sells his home. Note that Nevada has Homestead Exemptions that may limit your ability to collect if the lien is attached to the debtor's primary residence.
- A mechanics’ lien is what is known as a statutory lien. In other words, it is establish in the Nevada statues as a lien which you can execute without an order from a judge. It should not be confused with a judgment lien which is a lien placed against the property of the loosing party in a court case.
Jayne Thompson earned an LL.B. in Law and Business Administration from the University of Birmingham and an LL.M. in International Law from the University of East London. She practiced in various “Big Law” firms before launching a career as a commercial writer. Her work has appeared on numerous legal blogs including Quittance, Upcounsel and Medical Negligence Experts.