Your Lien Rights
If you’ve recently supplied goods or services to a property, including but not limited to, construction trade work such as framing, plumbing, or electrical, and you have not been paid, you may be entitled to a lien against the property. What is a lien you may be wondering? A lien is a registered “instrument” which attaches to title of property. In reality the lien acts as a barrier to the property owner’s free use of his property ownership. It serves as a notice to the world that you have supplied work and that you have not been paid and deters purchasers and mortgagees from transacting with the property. This pressurizes the property owner to find a way to deal with the lien, one way being to pay off your debts.
Whether you have supplied a “lienable” good or service to the property is quite clear cut if you’ve provided a construction related services such as those named above. However, this becomes more complicated if we’re talking about the installation of a water cooling tower to the property, for example. What you should remember is that the court is looking to see if you’ve provided a “tangible” benefit to the property. You should most definitely consult with a lawyer to determine if you’ve provided a “lienable” good or service to a property.
There are strict timelines associated with registering a lien. If you have unpaid debts from an ongoing or past project, immediately contact a lawyer to discuss your ability to lien. For instance, subject to other triggering events and exceptions, one must lien for his work 60 days after last supplying work to the project. This means that if you don’t lien within 60 days, you’ve lost your rights to lien forever.
Once you’ve liened, your lawyer will proceed by “perfecting” the lien. This means that he or she will commence an action in court against the defendants. The defendants could include the property owner, general contractors, sub-contractors, payment certifiers, and others involved in the construction chain. Without perfecting the lien in time you’ll lose your lien rights forever (note again that this is subject to strict deadlines, however hopefully by this point you’ve retained a construction lawyer).
A lien is something for which you’ll definitely need the assistance of a lawyer. This is because a lawyer has the know-how and access to register instruments on property titles on your behalf. This is not something you can complete individually nor is it something that we recommend you complete without proper legal advice. If you’re in search of a lien lawyer or a construction lawyer, please do get in touch with us for a free consultation. You can find us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (877) 892-7778.
Falcon Law Professional Corporation