A Quick Guide on How to Get a Mechanic’s Lien

January 21, 2022

Are you a contractor, subcontractor, or supplying company? If yes, you might have come across heinous clients who refused or took too long before making payments. You don’t need to push for these payments anymore because a mechanic’s lien will protect your investment.

Without a mechanics lien, it’s difficult to secure your legal rights to materials, labor, and money recovery. Whether the client paid a half fee and has refused to settle the balance, you deserve your full payments.

Feeling like the client’s refusal to pay for the services provided is limiting your payment recovery? Mechanic’s lien is an effective and essential legal tool for procuring your due funds. But how do you get and how long does it take to process it?

Below is a quick guide on how to get a mechanic’s lien.

Eligibility and How to Get a Mechanic’s Lien

Before filing a mechanic’s lien, find out whether the State construction laws allow you to file it. Most states have restrictions on who should apply for the mechanic’s lien when they go unpaid.

Why not engage a construction lien lawyer to find whether you qualify?

Your right to file a lien may become absolute if you don’t follow the stipulated requirements. Despite having room for error when filing, you could end up in a legal mess when the courts declare your lien as a frivolous lien.

How does a construction attorney ascertain you qualify to file a lien? You might want to check out the following before filing the mechanic’s lien:

Are the Materials and Type of Work Covered by State Lien Protection?
The construction industry has no set minimum for materials supply or construction size.

Whereas most states want to protect their contractors, there are limits to who qualifies for lien protection.

Did you know that any contractor or subcontractor who makes permanent property improvement qualifies for mechanic’s lien? Though most states follow this rule, some services may not get this protection. The tricky services include:

  • Solar panel installation companies
  • Fence rental firms
  • Landscapers
  • Architects and engineers
  • Mobile homes and field hospital builders
  • Wholesale suppliers

Although the list could keep going up depending on the state, these professionals will need more proof showing that they delivered the services.

Types of Notices Accepted in Illinois State

Does your state demand you send a notice first before the lien? According to experts from the Grzymala Law Offices, there are two types of notices: preliminary notices and notice of intent to lien.

Preliminary Notice

A contractor or material supplier must furnish the client with a preliminary notice before the commencement of the work.

Whether you should deliver Notice of Furnishing, Notice to Owner, or the 20-Day Notice, do it at the right time.

Notice of Intent to Lien

Unlike preliminary notice, this type of notice is simple for contractors. Depending on the state, you should send this notice before filing a lien.

The only downside is that you have to wait for long before your lien deadline is met.

Attorneys offering mechanical lien services should know whether you need to provide the notice before filing a lien or not.

Lien Timeline in Illinois

Regardless of your state, you have a timeline to meet when making a mechanics lien claim. What’s your states’ lien filing timeline? Are there exceptions where these claims can be made later?

Most states require contractors to file liens on the last day of material or labor provision. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on a weekend, holiday or till you serve the notice of intent. You must do it on the last day of your project.

If in doubt on the filing timeline, finding a construction lawyer near me can guide you in the process.

Draft the Mechanic’s Lien

After discussions with your construction attorney and establishing that you qualify for the lien, it’s time to draft it. Unfortunately, not everyone can fill the document accurately without the help of a seasoned attorney.

Despite the lien downloadable lien document leaving blanks on every question, mechanic lien preparation is complicated. Missing out essential information can render the lien useless and prompt litigation from the clients.

Whether or not you have a construction attorney, you must fill out the following:

  • Lien amount
  • Contractor name
  • Property description

Specifying these details and providing accurate information will go a long way in justifying the claim. Get the property name and location right because that’s what you’re filing the lien against. Your lien will be valid and ready for the next step.

File the Lien With the Right Authority

Now that you have established your filing rights and prepared the lien document, where do you file it? All states don’t file the lien the same way. If you live in Illinois, you’ll file the claim with the county recorder.

Before you start the lien claim filing procedure, here are county recorder rules you must adhere to:

  • You must file within the county where the project took place
  • Format the claim documents properly
  • Avoid typos
  • Include all the details
  • Make the required payments
  • Provide a cover sheet on each filing

Adhering to provided guidelines not only saves you from extra costs but protects your claim from rejection. Engage the county recorder workers and understand all the requirements before filing the lien document.

How Do You File the Mechanic’s Lien?

There are three strategic ways of delivering your lien filing to the county recording offices, including filing in-person, filing electronically, or mailing in a hard copy of the lien.

Don’t be deceived by the state digitization of public offices and expect an electronic filing to take place. Sometimes, these systems fail, and it may take time before your claim gets filed.

If you’re still in the site area, drop in the claim in the records office.

However, mail can serve the purpose if you’re in no hurry to file the lien claim.

Notify the Interested Parties

As soon as you file the lien claim, you must serve all the responsible parties. The notice can be served through certified mail.

But who should be served with the notice? The property owner, construction lender, and prime contractor must get the notice simultaneously. Ensuring that everyone involved gets the lien notice is essential.

Get Started With Your Mechanic’s Lien Attorney Today

Late project compensation can derail your construction projects and create havoc between you and lenders. Here we have discussed how to get a mechanic’s lien so that your project does not stall.

If you’re dealing with property owners that don’t want to pay you, our Mark GrzymaƂa attorneys will fix this for you now. To learn more about mechanic’s lien, talk to our experts today and get your financial recovery started.