Table of Contents:
- How to File a Mechanic's Lien in Tennessee
- How to File a Mechanic's Lien in Arkansas
- How to File a Mechanics Lien in California
- How to File a Mechanic's Lien in North Carolina
- How to File Mechanic Liens in New York
- How to File a Mechanic's Lien in Ohio
- How to File a Mechanic's Lien in Indiana
- How to File a Mechanics Lien in Alabama
- How to File a Mechanic's Lien in Maryland
- How to File a Mechanic's Lien in Louisiana
- How to File a Mechanic's Lien in Florida
- How to File a Georgia Mechanic's Lien
Download the Vehicle Information Request (VIR) form from the Tennessee Department of Revenue's website. A link to the form can be found in the Resources section. Print out the form and complete it. Note of the cost of each request that you make in section B. These fees must be submitted with the form.
Create a complete, itemized list of the charges that have not been paid. This list must be printed on company letterhead.
Mail the completed VIR form, the itemized list of charges, and any fees to:
State of Tennessee, Department of Revenue
Taxpayer and Vehicle Services Division
44 Vantage Way, Suite 160
Nashville, TN 37243-8050
Wait until the Department of Revenue mails the requested vehicle information to you. Compile a list of people to mail a lien notice to. This includes the owner of the vehicle, along with anyone else that has a lien on the vehicle (who will be listed in the vehicle information you received), as well as any individuals with an interest in the vehicle.
Mail the lien notice to the concerned parties. The lien notice must include a description of the vehicle, the itemized list of charges, and the date by which the owner of the car must pay by. This date must be more than 10 days after the owner of the car receives the lien notice. The lien notice must be mailed via certified mail, with a return receipt requested.
Wait for the due date issued in your lien notice. If you have not received payment by this date, you may begin the public auctioning process.
Perform work or supply materials. Before you can file for a mechanic's lien you have to provide something of value that improves the real property. This can include delivering supplies, performing construction work, drafting architectural plans and performing engineering inspections.
File a work notice with the owner. Before you can perfect a lien in Arkansas you must file a timely notice within 75 days from the date the work was performed or materials delivered. The notice must be delivered via personal service or certified mail. The notice must contain a list of the work performed, the amount due, a description of the property, when the work was performed, the materials provided and the names and addresses of any relevant parties.
Draft the lien. The lien document itself must contain a description of all the work performed or materials supplied. Like the notice, it must detail the dates when the work was performed, the value of the work that has gone unpaid, a description of the property and the names and addresses of all interested parties. The lien must be verified by an affidavit as well.
File the lien. You must file your lien within 120 days from the date labor and materials were furnished to the property, and the lien must be filed in the county where the property is situated. If you are the original contractor you can file the lien at any time within the 120 days, but any subcontractors or secondary contractors must provide the property owner a 10-day notice before filing the lien.
Complete all of the contracted work. A mechanic's lien cannot be filed unless the work is completed. Although this may seem counterproductive, the person filing the lien must have completely finished his work to prove that he has held up his end of the contract. A mechanic's lien has specific deadlines that are tied to completion dates. If you cannot finish the work, consider filing a stop notice before or instead of a mechanic's lien.
Serve a California 20-day preliminary notice (view the form in the resources section). Include the owner and contractor's names, the construction lender, your name and contact information, a description of your services, applicable dates, price of work and a description of the jobsite. This notice preserves the claimant's lien rights to the project until the lien notice is served. In some cases, the contract can serve as the notice (i.e., if the claimant was hired directly by the property owner). This notice is effective for no more than 20 days prior to the date on the notice through the completion of the contract.
Assemble any records you have on the project. This will include: contract, payment records, change orders, owner's name and project address. You will also need the name of the lender (if one exists) and the amount of the lien. Check the contract to see if there is mention of interest payments on outstanding balances.
Acquire a mechanic's lien form from a construction publisher (see Resources). Make sure it is the California State form. On the form, you will supply your name and contact information, the amount you are due, applicable interest rate, date balance became due, name of owner, description of services, property address and the name of general contractor (if applicable). The form also requires a verification witness and a notary's signature.
Record the lien at the County Recorder's Office in the county in which the project is located. It is recommended to deliver the lien in person for a date stamp. Mechanic's liens are time sensitive; when there is a stated date of work completion, a lien must be filed within 60 days for those with direct contract with the owner or 30 days for other claimants. There is a fee required for recording the lien.
Contact a lawyer (if you haven't already), and file a lawsuit to foreclose on the lien within 90 days of recording the lien. After 90 days, the lien expires. There is an Extension of Credit agreement that can give you more time to file the lawsuit, if necessary.
File the lien claim in the Superior Court clerk's office. The claim needs to include your name and address; the name and address of the property owner; a description of the real property; the name and address of the other parties assigned to the contract; dates when you started and completed the work; and a description of the services performed. File the lien at the Superior Court in the same county as where the property is situated.
The lien must be filed within 120 days after the contractor has finished working on the real property. If the contractor attempts to file the lien after the 120 day deadline, the lien will not be enforced.
Enforce the lien by filing a lawsuit or a notice of lis pendens within 180 days after finishing work on the project. File the lawsuit in the county that has proper jurisdiction over the real property. File the lis pendens in every county where any other liens have been recorded for the real property. The contractor can proceed with foreclosure proceedings and sell the property if the court grants a judgment enforcing the lien.
Sell the real property. The sale proceeds will be distributed to the contractor to satisfy his lien claim. When the contractor's lien has been satisfied, the lien on the property can be discharged. The property owner can submit a certified copy of a court judgment or documentation signed by the contractor verifying the lien has been paid in full to the Superior Court clerk's office.
Evaluate eligibility requirements for filing a Mechanic Lien in New York. Contractors, subcontractors, workers, landscapers, material providers and gardening service businesses or individuals are eligible to file Mechanic liens. To file a lien there has to be non payments of work or services completed on a real estate improvement project. Each county in New York may have unique filing requirements.
Document the work performed and its costs. List the amount of money pay to subcontractors, workers and the cost of material. Estimate the percent of work performed if it hasn't been finished. Have copies of the contract signed by the property owner or agent.
Negotiate with the property owner/agent and try to collect payment before filing a mechanic lien. Filing a lien may take time in court and cost you possible attorney's fees. By negotiating payment terms and schedules with the owner you may be able to avoid delays and legal fees.
File a mechanic lien with the County Clerk's Office. In New York State, mechanic liens are filed in the county where the property is located. Visit the County Clerk's Office internet site or in person to file the lien. Use a Notice of Lien form for New York State to file.
Complete the Notice of Lien legal form. This form is available at the County Clerk's Office and online from various legal services. The form requires detailed documentation of the work performed and the costs incurred. The Notice of Lien Form has to be notarized in New York. This form can be file during the construction work or within eight months after completion of contract terms.
Mail a copy of the Notice of Lien to the property owner/agent. The individual or business claimed in the lien has a right to written documentation detailing all labor and material costs. Use postal certify services to make sure the notice is properly delivered.
Ohio uses a notice of lien when you, as a contractor, haven’t been paid for work already performed. In some situations, other notices must be filed before you can file a lien. Adhere to specific timelines to retain your legal rights.
Filing a Mechanic's Lien
Use an online template, Affidavit of Lien, to write the actual lien document. The Affidavit of Lien is filed at the county clerk in the county where the property physically sits. The location of your business or residence is not relevant – jurisdiction falls in the county where the property is located.
Notarize the completed forms. File the Affidavit of Lien no more than 60 days from the last day of labor you provided on the job. While it isn’t necessary, sending and serving a Pre-Lien Payment Demand letter might resolve the issue prior to starting the court lien process. Templates available online outline what to say in a demand letter to the property owner. The letter should include the amount owed along with a deadline for payment and a description of the work performed.
Other Potential Notices When Filing a Lien
Some projects require that a Notice of Commencement be filed with the county clerk, stating the scope of the project for the public record. If no Notice of Commencement is required, you don’t need to do anything else before filing the affidavit.
However, if a Notice of Commencement is required, you must then file and serve the property owner with a Notice of Furnishing. The Notice of Furnishing makes the owner aware of your rights to a lien on the property if payment is not made. This notice preserves your rights as the project goes on, but does not imply that the property owner is in default of payment at the time of serving the notice. Use online templates for the Notice of Furnishing. Serve the notarized notice to the property owner within 21 days of filing the Notice of Commencement.
Timelines are essential to protect your legal rights in Ohio. Failure to adhere to designated timelines when filing any of the notices can nullify your right to a mechanic’s lien. You must file the Affidavit of Lien within 60 days of the last day you performed work on a residence up to two units. For multifamily dwellings of three or more, your timeline is up to 75 days. Once the affidavit is recorded with the county clerk, you have 30 days to serve the property owner with a copy.
In a situation where a Notice of Commencement exists, the Notice of Furnishing must be filed within 21 days of the Notice of Commencement’s filing date. The 60-day window to file the Affidavit of Lien is independent of the 21 days required for the Notice of Furnishing. Adhere to both timelines. Always be aware of timelines even if the property owner is discussing payments or other work with you. Don't lose your right to a valid mechanic’s lien by not filing proper paperwork in a timely fashion because you think the owner might pay. Liens are valid for six years and not renewable in Ohio. They are released either by the court, by the lien holder or upon expiration. Warranty, repair and punch work are excluded from the timeline and do not extend the 60-day window.
After the Lien is Filed
Just because you have the lien filed, recorded it and properly served a copy to the property owner, doesn’t mean you will automatically be paid. Once you have the lien in place, complete and serve a Pre-Foreclosure Payment Demand Letter to the property owner. If you still don’t get a resolution, you may need to file a lawsuit to foreclose on the lien. Generally, you have six years to file the lawsuit. However, if the property owner files a Notice to Commence Suit, your deadline to file suit is reduced to only 60 days. If you don’t file, the lien is extinguished.
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.
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.
Meet the work requirements. Alabama law states that in order to file the mechanics lien, the applicant must have made an improvement to the property against which the lien is issued. Improvements can come in many forms, including providing supplies, labor, waste removal, architectural services, engineering services, and any other act or labor that adds value to the property. Generally, this involves improvements to the property itself, the land on which the property rests, or attachments or additions to the land.
Meet the relationship requirements. The Alabama mechanics lien statutes require that the party filing for the lien can only be the original contractor, a subcontractor, or their material suppliers and subcontractors. Other parties that may have supplied material to a supplier, therefore, are not protected under the Alabama statutes.
Decide which type of lien is appropriate. Alabama law provides for two different kinds of mechanics liens. The first is the full price lien. This kind of lien is appropriate when a party has either a direct or implied contract with the owner of the property. The second form is the unpaid balance lien. Any worker who does not have a contractual relationship with the property owner can avail himself of this kind of lien.
File the written notice of intent to file a lean. This must be sent to the property owner before a lien can be filed. This notice must include such information as the amount in question, the work performed, the person or organization to whom money is owed, and the right to attorneys fees and finance charges.
File a verified lien statement. The lien statement must be filed in the county probate office where the property is located. Laborers must file within 30 days from the last day they worked or provided materials, while original contractors must file within six months. All other claimants must file within four months from the last day of work.
File suit and, if you are successful in court, obtain a judgment. In general, lien filers have six months after the final day of work on the property in which to file a lawsuit to recover the amounts in question.
File a “Petition to Establish a Lien” in Maryland district court in the county where you performed the work. The petition must describe who the parties are, what work you did and how much you are owed, and it should include a statement that you have not been paid. Attach all documents supporting your claims to this petition.
Use the "Maryland Notice of Intention to Claim a Lien" to serve the owner with notice of your intent to establish a lien on her property. This notice must be delivered within 120 days after the last date of work. Include a copy of your petition to establish a lien. Hand-deliver these items and ask the owner to sign a document verifying she received them or send them via first class registered mail, return receipt requested.
Attend the show cause hearing ordered by the Maryland court. Typically, the court schedules this hearing within 90 days after you file the petition. At this hearing, you must prove that you have not been paid. The court will order an “interlocutory lien” on the property.
File a lawsuit seeking to enforce the lien within 180 days after the date of the last work. You will have to prove that you are owed the money; the owner will have a chance to defend himself.
Understand the different kinds of liens. Louisiana state law recognizes three different categories of mechanics or construction liens: liens for general contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers.
Determine which category you fall in. Under Louisiana law, a subcontractor must actually participate in the creation or building of a project. Being considered a subcontractor is important because suppliers who provide materials to another supplier cannot claim a lien, while a subcontractor at all levels does have the right to file one. A material supplier is someone who delivers materials to a worksite, and whose materials are used in the actual construction. Primary contractors are those with whom the property owner directly contracts, and who perform a majority of the work.
Understand prior filing requirements. A general contractor in Louisiana who is contracted for a private job paying more than $25,000 must file a Notice of Contract prior to beginning work on the project. This must be accompanied by a statutory bond, and be filed in the parish where the work is to be done. If the contractor does not do this, they will lose their right to file a lien. For a public project, the contractor has to file the statutorily required bonds in the parish no later than 30 days after commencing work.
File the lien on time. In general, a lien and can only be filed subsequent to the filing of the “notice of termination” on a project. While the time limits very according to the status of the filer, the day of last delivery of materials, and numerous other potential qualifiers, the general time limit in which a lien must be filed is usually no shorter than 30 days, or longer than 60. The liens must be filed in the parish in which the property is located, and must provide the information required. This includes: the name of the party filing the claim, the amount owed, a description of the property, and the name of the property owner.
Prepare a Notice to Owner or Notice to Owner/Contractor form within 45 days of the date you first provided material or labor for the job. All contractors, subcontractors, laborers and material/equipment suppliers who do not have a direct contract are required under Florida statutes to serve the owner and/or general contractor with this notice for preservation of their lien rights.
File or serve this notice on the property owner of record and/or the general contractor either by sending a copy via certified mail, overnight delivery, requiring signature or presenting a copy in person. This information is found on the Notice of Commencement posted on the job site next to the building permit.
Prepare and file a mechanic's lien with the clerk of the court in the jurisdiction where the project is located within 90 days of your final furnishing of labor and/or materials for the project.
Serve the owner and general contractor (if any) a copy of the mechanic's lien within 15 days of recording.
Complete a lien form. Make sure to include a statement that the lien expires 365 days from the filing date, rather than the date the work was completed, unless further action occurs, such as civil suit or bankruptcy. Lien templates are available at many websites for a fee. Look for a template or form formatted specifically for Georgia.
Gather and make copies of all contract documents signed by the customer. The contract documents and the lien form must be filed within 90 days of the date work was completed or substantially completed. This is not necessarily the date the customer failed to pay for the work.
Use the wording supplied by the state. The Official Code of Georgia, Annotated, gives specific language for the body of the lien form: "A.B., a mechanic, contractor, subcontractor, materialman, machinist, manufacturer, registered architect, registered forester, registered land surveyor, registered professional engineer, or other person (as the case may be) claims a lien in the amount of (specify the amount claimed) on the house, factory, mill, machinery, or railroad (as the case may be) and the premises or real estate on which it is erected or built, of C.D. (describing the houses, premises, real estate, or railroad), for satisfaction of a claim which became due on (specify the date the claim was due) for building, repairing, improving, or furnishing material (or whatever the claim may be)."
File the form at the office of the Clerk of Superior Court in the county in which the property is located, even if the owner of the property lives in another county. The lien attaches to the property, not the owner. As of 2009, the filing fee set by the state was $4.50 for the first page and $2 per page after that.
Within two days of filing the lien at the courthouse, send a copy of the claim by registered or certified mail to the owner of the property.Send a notice to a registered agent if the owner is a corporation, or advertise.in the newspaper.
Take action on the lien within 365 days to keep the lien from becoming invalid. Arbitration, settlement, civil suit and bankruptcy actions will serve to keep the lien in force, but the court must be notified in writing if any of these events occur.