Outside of mortgages, Minnesota law allows individuals and businesses to place liens on property in two difference circumstances. The most common is called a mechanic's lien. It is used when a contractor or laborer makes improvements to a property and they were not paid by the property owner. They have a right to put a lien on the property for the value of their improvement. Also, attorneys may put liens on property for legal services for which they have not been paid.
Consult an attorney before beginning the lien process. They will instruct you in the details of the process and ensure your documents are properly filed. Mistakes in the forms can make the lien invalid and leave you liable for the other parties' legal fees.
Give a notice to the property owner before filing the lien. This is required unless the property is a apartment building with more than four units or a commercial property larger than 5,000 square feet. A notice must either be given in person or sent by certified mail.
Deliver a mechanic's lien statement to the property owner no later than 120 days after the last day of work was completed or materials were supplied for the job. Include the address of the property, the name of the owner, a statement verifying you met the notice requirements, the amount owed to you, and the beginning and end dates of the job.
Foreclose on the lien within one year of last day of work was done. Your attorney will guide you through the court proceedings involved in this process. If the courts rule in your favor, the property will be sold and you will be awarded the money owed for your contributions.