5 Useful Tips for Filing a Mechanic’s Lien

Have you recently worked on a construction project and didn’t get paid? Well, the construction lien laws of evert state provide contractors with the right to file a mechanic’s lien in order to collect payment. The process requirements that differ across states are strict in terms of documentation, deadlines, and notices. 

It’s paramount for claimants to pay close attention to details, as a single mistake is enough for the claim to be ruled invalid. Getting familiar with the laws in your country is crucial before taking any further steps.

In case you are about to file a mechanic’s lien Tennessee, you will find the following tips useful during the process.

Check your eligibility

Prior to filing a mechanic’s lien, one is supposed to check its eligibility for getting involved in such a process. The laws of different states impose a myriad of requirements for every individual that intends to file a claim, which is why one is supposed to take some time to analyze the regulations. 

For instance, people of certain occupations are allowed to file liens, depending on the regulations in a particular state. Generally, individuals who provide labor and material for the purpose of real property improvement are considered eligible. Hence, the largest part of contractors, subcontractors, as well as companies that rent equipment and fences, lawn care and design professionals, material suppliers, etc. fall under this category. 

Moreover, most states impose notice requirements to participants, obliging them to deliver two types of notices to property owners. The preliminary notice is supposed to be delivered at the onset of the project, whereas the notice of intent to lien has to be delivered before filing the claim. The purpose of these notices is to assist claimants in collecting payment without having to file a lien. Keep in mind that failing to deliver any of these notices will affect your eligibility. 

The ultimate eligibility criterion to consider is the deadline, which varies across states. There are virtually no exceptions to these deadlines, which is why claimants are obliged to file a claim within the assigned timeframe. In most countries, the deadline matches the project completion date, regardless of whether it happens over the weekend or on holiday. Read more about the nature of liens as part of property law in detail. 

Fill out the lien form

After verifying your eligibility for this procedure, you are required to draft the lien form, which is a lot trickier than filling in a couple of blanks. It’s paramount to download the right form, as there are numerous mechanic’s lien forms available online. If your state hasn’t published this form online for people to download for free, make sure you download it from the site of a trustworthy legal provider.

In addition, there are a few parts of the form that one has to pay special attention to. Since you’ll be making a claim for payment, you are supposed to fill in the exact amount in the “claim amount” blank. Anyhow, states differ in the type of costs that are included in the claim amount, such as attorney fees, retainage, etc. Make sure you learn more about the rules in your country before filling out the form. 

Another tricky aspect that one is supposed to consider is the claimant’s name. Although this part of the form seems incredibly straightforward, a multitude of claimants has lost at court due to writing the wrong name. To avoid any legal proceedings and court appearances, make sure you go with your legal name. 

The property description is yet another important aspect of these forms. Claimants are asked to identify the property they worked at, which isn’t as simple as it sounds. The safest alternative is using its legal property description. Go to the following link, https://www.thebalance.com/legal-description-1798580, to understand the legal description of properties.

File the lien

Once you have filled out the form, it’s high time to file your mechanic’s lien in the right place. Bear in mind that claims aren’t filed in the County Recorder’s Office in your town but in the county where the job was performed. Don’t be discouraged if the office rejects your claim a couple of times due to minor issues such as wrong document format, typos, missing content, etc. Therefore, you are advised to get in touch with the corresponding office before filing it so as to learn more about its filing requirements. 

In terms of the filing process, you can deliver the documents personally to the county’s office. This might be the most convenient method, as you’ll be able to take care of any problems found by the clerk. In case you are unable to go to the recording office in person, make sure you mail them. Anyhow, don’t forget to take into account the potential mailing delays, which can be avoided by sending the documents earlier than planned. 

Ultimately, some technologically-advanced counties allow claimants to file their claims electronically. However, you’ll be required to set up an eRecording account for this purpose, which is believed to be time-consuming. 

Serve the claim

After the filing procedure is completed, claimants are obliged to serve the lien to the involved parties. Once you receive the official copy, it’s paramount to deliver copies to the other parties as soon as possible by mail. Generally, property owners are the most important people to receive a copy, although some states oblige claimants to deliver a copy to the prime contractors as well. 

Enforce the lien

Mechanic’s liens aren’t permanent, but temporary, which means you aren’t supposed to let yours expire. Once you collect the payment, it’s essential for the claimant to release the claim. This cancelation procedure is conducted in the same recording office where the filing process took place. Keep in mind that failing to cancel it on time will force you to pay certain penalties. 

Final thoughts

Make sure you keep an eye on details and respect deadlines.

It’s the only way to get paid!