For any construction job where home owners neglect the payment for the services or materials because of personal reasons, the contractor can file a lien against the property. This can be their last effective resort to collect the money they earned for their services.
A property lien can stay in the property even if it is transferred to the name of another family member. The contractor who filed the lien can also collect his interest afterwards if it takes long time for the owner to pay his debt. If you want to know how to file a lien on a property, here are tips that might help you get through with the process smoothly.
1. File a Lawsuit – You must have a judgment as you file a lawsuit against the owner of the property who owes you money which can be obtained in your local court. File a lawsuit for the amount of money or services that were taken from you by the property owner who failed to comply his obligation. Depending on the amount that was owed the law may refer you to courts intended for small claims. If you have proper documentation for your case, a judgment can be issued by the court for the specified amount.
2. Visit your local clerk’s office – You need to do this to obtain a certified copy or proper documentation for the judgment. After obtaining a judgment you can wait about a week to formally file the lien. Be sure that you will pick up a certified copy because this will be used to file the property lien. You may be required to pay a certain amount or fee for the process.
3. Remember to file the lawsuit in the local court where the property is located – Secure the right information including the address of the property to avoid delays or problems when filing the judgment. Once a judgment is declared, a lien can be filed on the property. Check if the debtor owns another property aside from the one you know, if you found out he has more, then you can start filing liens on the others as well for total assurance that your money will be paid back.
4. You may also file a mechanic’s lien – This is a record of building or property’s improvement cost. This is known as lien notice or lien claim. Contractors can file a mechanic’s lien depending on the rules administered by the state. It is usually done by many contractors before they start working on a property. When the work is done and the cost of construction services is paid, a lien satisfaction must be filed removing the burden from the property.
Although a property lien can be considered as great remedy for securing that you will get the money from the services you made, there is no given right to anyone to just file a lien on a person’s property. Filing a property lien is considered only as a privilege, it not actually a right. Contractors must also follow certain rules administered by the state before placing a lien on someone’s property. If you want to file a property lien you must make sure to do this on the right time following the regulations of the court. If you are not sure when to start doing this, it is therefore necessary for you to seek professional help. Consult a lawyer and ask about the proper timing and steps towards legal completion of filing a property lien.
Alexander is a lawyer who specializes in property lien. He has been dealing with client for this kind of cases for more than a decade now. He is also a good source of information for those who want to know how to file a lien on a property.