Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Mechanic's Lien?

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 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. **

Last date of services

Your last date of services at the job site is critical to being able to file your 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 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 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 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).

Who gets notified that I filed 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.
Can I include the filing fees in my Lien amount?

You are not allowed to include legal fees or the filing fee in the amount you are owed. Your Lien is only to be filed for the amount owed, for services rendered. 

We are owed money, now what?
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 Satisfy your 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. 

Is a Notice of Intent required before filing my Lien?

Certain states require a Notice of Intent 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. Click here to learn more. 

What is a Bond Discharge?

The property owner or contractor can file a Bond Discharge against your Mechanic's Lien. A Bond deposits 110% the value of your Lien with the courts. 

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. 

Can I Extend my Mechanic's Lien?

In New York, you have the ability to Extend Mechanic's Lien by an additional year. 

Your deadline to file an Extension of Lien is one year after filing your Lien claim. Failure to file your Extension within that time period will cause the lien to expire.

What is a Signed Order Extension?

A court Order Extension is presented by an attorney, reviewed by a judge and upon approval the Extension is signed off and extended via Court Order.

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 to enforce your Lien 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. 

Can an Authorized Agent sign my Lien?

Certain states allow for an Authorized Agent to sign As Agent for filing.

New York allows an Authorized Agent to sign for filing on behalf of the Lienor. 

New Jersey does not allow a an Authorized Agent to sign for filing on behalf of the Lienor. 

Connecticut does not allow a an Authorized Agent to sign for filing on behalf of the Lienor. 

Pennsylvania allows an Authorized Agent to sign for filing on behalf of the Lienor. 

For additional Frequently Asked Questions, please click here 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.