A lien is a publicly recorded document that gives notice of your claim against the owner secured in the property for unpaid improvements to the property. Liens must be recorded within 90 days of the last date work was performed or products delivered according to the terms of your contract or change orders. This does not include warranty repairs. Liens remain in effect for a period of one year from the date it was filed with the clerk of the court. The debt must be settled or a suit to foreclose on the lien must be filed during that period of time or the lien will expire after one year.
A lien must be enforced by filing a suit seeking a judgment recognizing the lien forcing the owner to sell their interest in the property at a judicial sale to pay his debt to you. Your debt would be paid subject to prior Liens and mortgages but free of inferior liens and mortgages. Should you succeed in having your lien recognized, you may recover your attorneys fees. However should your lien not be recognized due to a defect such as improper notice or untimely lien, then you will be liable to pay your opponents fees.
The following have lien rights.
- Contractors who provide more that one person’s labor and/or more than just materials who contracts directly with the property owner.
- Subcontractors who provide more than one person’s labor and/or more than just materials who contracts with a Contractor.
- Sub-subcontractor who provide more than one person’s labor and/or more than just materials who contracts with a subcontractor.
- Laborers furnishing his/her own labor only
- Materialmen furnishing materials or rental equipment only, with no labor, selling to an owner, contractor, sub contractor, or sub-subcontractor delivered to the site or sold for direct delivery to the site being improved.
- Professionals such as Architects, Engineers, Land Surveyors and Interior designers.
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