Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Mechanic's Lien and Who can file a Mechanic's Lien?

What is a Mechanic's Lien?

Mechanic's Liens provide protection to contractors, vendors, material suppliers and professional services in the construction industry. A Lien is a legal tool to protect yourself, for non-payment.

A Mechanic's Lien attaches the amount you are owed for materials or services rendered, to the title of the property in question. In other words, it prevents the property owner from selling, transferring title or refinancing said property. For those of you that have a mortgage on your property, your bank has a Lien or an interest for the amount borrowed. By filing a Mechanic's Lien you will have the same interest a bank does against the property in question.

What is a Public Improvement Mechanic's Lien?

A Public Improvement Lien attaches the amount you are owed to a property owned by the state, county, city or town. The Municipality withholds payment from the contractor; the agency will hold back 150% of the value of your Public Improvement Lien from the Prime Contractor on the project until your lien has been satisfied. 

You have 30 days from the time the project is accepted by the agency - regardless of when your work was finished - to file your Mechanic's Lien on a public project in New York City.

Who may file a Mechanic's Lien?

Materialman:
Sells/Rents Construction Related Materials and Equipment.
Including: Lumber, Drywall, Plumbing Materials, Electrical Materials, HVAC, Masonry Materials, Brick, Block, Concrete, Flooring, Sprinklers, Elevator Materials, Steel, Metal, Sewers, Shrubbery, Scaffolding, Dumpsters/Containers, etc.

Laborer:
The Party Installing the Above Materials.
Including: Environmental Remediation, Tank Abatement, Asbestos Removal, Soil Samples, Trucking / Hauling of Materials / Equipment to a Jobsite or Debris from a Jobsite, etc. 

Professional Services:
Including: Architect (Licensed) Engineer (Licensed)

Construction Management is allowed in certain counties in New York. **

How much am I owed?

Your Mechanic's Lien is filed for the exact amount you are owed, strictly for the work performed and rendered to date. 

New York is an unpaid balance lien state. The lien is enforceable only for the unpaid portion of the contract. You cannot Lien for work not performed. 

Lien Law time frame by State

Last date of services

Your last date of services at the job site is critical to being able to file your Mechanic's Lien claim. See below for the time limits to file your Mechanic's Lien based on the state Lien Law. 

How much time do I have to file a Mechanic's Lien in New York?

New York Lien Law:
(New York Liens, NY Liens, New York Construction Lien Claims)

Services/Materials Rendered to:

Single Family Homes, Single Condominium Apartments - Your lien must be filed no later than 4 months from the last date of service.

Multi-Family Buildings, Cooperative Buildings, Commercial Buildings - Your lien must be filed no later than 8 months from the last date of service.

If the unpaid balance is based off retainage, a Mechanic's Lien may be filed within 90 days of the retainage being due.

How much time do I have to file a Construction Mechanic's Lien Claim in New Jersey?

New Jersey Lien Law:
(New Jersey Liens, NJ Liens, New Jersey Construction Lien Claims)

Your lien must be filed no later than 90 days from the last date of service to all commercial properties.

Due to the New Jersey Lien Law, residential properties have very specific requirements to file a Lien. We are unable to assist with Residential properties. 

How much time do I have to file a Mechanic's Lien in Connecticut?

Connecticut Lien Law:

(Connecticut Mechanic's Liens, CT Liens, Connecticut Construction Lien Claims)

Your lien must be filed no later than 90 days from the last date of service to all properties. **A Notice of Intent is required if you did not directly contract with the property owner.** The Notice of Intent must be served upon the property owner and general contractor.

How much time do I have to file a Mechanic's Lien in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania Lien Law:

(Pennsylvania Mechanic's Lien, PA Liens, Pennsylvania Construction Lien Claims)

Your lien must be filed no later than 6 months from the last date of service to all properties. **A Notice of Intent is required if you did not directly contract with the property owner.** The Notice of Intent must be served 30 days prior to filing your Lien Claim (within the 6 month time limit).

Mechanic's Lien filing must knows

Who gets served when I file a Mechanic's Lien?
  • The Owner of the Property.
  • The Party that hired you.
  • The General Contractor, if you were a Sub-Contractor to a Sub-Contractor.
Is a Notice of Intent required before filing my Mechanic's Lien?

Certain states require a Notice of Intent (NOI) or a Pre-Lien Notice. 

New York does not require a NOI. New Jersey Commercial Lien Claims do not require a NOI.

Connecticut and Pennsylvania both have a Notice of Intent requirement. Speedy Lien handles the filing and service of the Notice of Intent.

Visit our Lien Law by State page for more information.

Can I include the legal fees or the filing fee in my Lien amount?

Your Mechanic's Lien is filed for the exact amount you are owed, strictly for the work performed and rendered to date. 

You are not allowed to include legal fees or the cost to file your Lien, in the amount you are owed. 

Once paid, how do I Satisfy a Lien?

Once your Lien has been paid, you must Satisfy your Lien off the title of the property. Click here to start the process of filing a Satisfaction of Mechanic's Lien.

Can I get reimbursed for my filing fees?

The party filing the Lien (the Lienor) is responsible for the filing fee to file your Lien in addition to Satisfying your Lien. 

You can request reimbursement for the filing fees. The other party is not required to reimburse the fees. 

We are owed money, now what?

Click here to File a Lien Now.

Construction Collections?

Before retaining a construction collection company, the first step is filing your Mechanic's Lien.

Once your Lien is filed, IF you are not paid, you can retain a construction collections company to enforce your Lien. 

Once the Lien is filed on the title, a collection agency can assist with Lien enforcement. 

Lien Extensions and Enforcement

Can I Extend my Mechanic's Lien?

In New York, you have the ability to Extend a Mechanic's Lien. The initial Lien is valid for 1 calendar year from the date of filing. Your deadline to file an Extension of Lien is within one year of filing your Lien claim. Failure to file your Extension prior to the deadline will cause the lien to expire.

Liens filed against commercial properties in New York can be extended three additional years. The last two Extensions must be filed via a signed Court Order Extension. 

Liens filed against residential properties in New York can be extended two additional years. Both Extensions must be filed via a signed Court Order Extension. 

What is a Signed Court Order Extension?

A Signed Court Order Extension is presented by an attorney, reviewed by a judge and upon approval of the judge's order, the Extension is signed off and extended via Court Order for an additional year.

Liens filed against commercial properties in New York can be extended three additional years. The last two Extensions must be filed via a signed Court Order Extension. 

Liens filed against residential properties in New York can be extended two additional years. Both Extensions must be filed via a signed Court Order Extension. 

Can I Foreclose on my Mechanic's Lien?

Filing a foreclosure action is the strongest way to enforce your Mechanic's Lien Claim. 

The foreclosure process is handled through an attorney. Speedy Lien can refer you to an attorney specializing in Lien Enforcement and Foreclosure. 

The Lien foreclosure process is similar to when a bank forecloses on a mortgage for non-payment. 

What is a Bond Discharge?

A Bond Discharge (also known as Bonding off a Mechanic's Lien) is a mechanism for temporarily removing a Mechanic's Lien from the title of the property. The property owner or contractor can file a Bond against the Mechanic's Lien. A Bond deposits 110% the value of the Lien with the courts. 

The bond guarantees the Lienor any payment that is still due to them with interest should they win the case in a court of law.

How would I know if my Lien was Bonded Off?

If a Mechanic's Lien was Bonded, the other party (the Petitioner - filing the Bond), must serve you with Notice of the Bond. The Notice would be sent to the address listed on your Mechanic's Lien. 

My Lien was Bonded. Now what?

If a Bond is filed against your Mechanic's Lien, you can initiate a "Bond Claim" or begin an action against the Bond. This process would be handled through an attorney. 

My Lien was Bonded. Can and should I Extend my Lien?

If your Lien is Bonded off, you still have the ability to Extend your Mechanic's Lien. If your Lien is not Extended, you lose your Lien Rights in the property.

Section 17 of the Lien Law provides that even after a lien is bonded, the Lien must still be renewed to continue your Lien Rights. 

Can I still foreclose on my Lien after it was Bonded?

If a Lien was Bonded off, the Lienor still has the right to file a Foreclosure Action in the same manner as a Lien that has not been Bonded. The Bond does not cancel the Lien.

Filing a Foreclosure Action is a very strong tool to enforce your Lien. The bond guarantees the Lienor any payment that is still due to them with interest should they win the case in a court of law.

We are owed money, now what?

File a Lien with Speedy Lien

Click here to File a Lien Now.

Additional Filings

File a Unpaid Broker's Commission Lien on a Commercial Lease - NY

In New York a real estate broker or sales agent can file a Mechanic’s Lien to collect an unpaid commission on a commercial lease only, pursuant to New York Lien Law § 10. The lease must be over 36 months. 

The Lien may be filed within eight months after the final payment is due, but in no event later than a date five years after the first payment was made.  

Click here to File a Broker's Lien Lien Now. 

File a Condo Lien for Unpaid Common Charges - NY

The New York Condominium Act grants a Condo Board or Homeowner's Association (HOA) lien for unpaid common charges and unpaid assessment. The following can be included in the Lien: common charges, unpaid assessments, attorney’s fees and costs for filing the Lien, fines and various other charges, as well as interest.

Read more on Condo Liens. 

Click here to File a Condo Lien for Unpaid Common Charges

File a Mechanic's Lien for Retainage - NY

If you are owed money for retainage, you can file a Lien within ninety (90) days after the date the retainage was due to be released.

Click here to File a Lien Now. 

File a Bond Discharge of Mechanic's Lien - NY

If a Lien has been filed against you, you can File a Bond Discharge against the Mechanic's Lien. New York Lien Law § 19(4) allows a lien to be discharged by filing a bond securing up to 110% of the amount claimed.

Click here to File a Bond Discharge against a Mechanic's Lien Now.

A Bond Discharge or Bonding off a Lien is a mechanism for temporarily removing a Mechanic's Lien from the title of the property. The bond guarantees the Lienor any payment that is still due to them with interest should they win the case in a court of law.

For more information on Bonding off a Mechanic's Lien, click here.

Discharge of Lien by Payment into the Court - NY

A Mechanic's Lien can be discharged by payment into the court by depositing with the county clerk a sum of money equal to the amount, with interest. 

Per New York Lien Law § 20, after such deposit is made and the lien is discharged, the county within ten days will send a notice by mail to the Lien that such lien has been discharged by deposit. 

Click here to File a Bond Discharge against a Mechanic's Lien Now.

For more information on Bonding off a Mechanic's Lien and filing a Bond Discharge against a Lien, click here.

Lien Search & Docket Report

We can perform Mechanic's Lien searches and Docket Reports.

Contact Skyler, Skyler@SpeedyLienInc.com for your request. EXT 108, 516-679-6702 or 212-203-7420.

For additional information, please click Lien Law by State to learn about your state’s Lien Laws. If you have any additional questions, please call Speedy Lien to learn more about your Lien rights. 

We are not a law firm and our employees are not acting as your attorney. The information contained in the Site is general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation.