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Important Mechanics Lien Statutes in North Carolina

As a contractor, you’ve probably been forced to rely on a mechanics lien to get paid in the past. The mechanics lien has become an inevitability in the construction industry. Projects are plagued by a vast number of moving parts, and when those gears come to a grinding halt, someone has to be the scapegoat. Unfortunately, with owners in control of funding, the contractor is oftentimes the one that is responsible for footing the bill. The mechanics lien helps alleviate the burden of bad owners and maintain balance between construction professionals and owners.

In this brief article, an Asheville construction lawyer from Cotney Construction Law will discuss some important mechanics lien statutes in North Carolina. Next time you’re faced with nonpayment, rely on an Asheville contractor lawyer to perfect your lien so that you can secure the payment you are owed. The nuances of the North Carolina mechanics lien statute can be confusing, and failure to follow the proper guidelines could lead to the loss of your lien rights. This is why all contractors should brush up on the following statutes:

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-10

Establishes that any claim of lien issued against a piece of property is effective from the first provision of labor or materials.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-11.1 

Outlines the Notice to Lien Agent, which must be filed by any potential lien claimant furnishing provisions of labor or materials. Filing information includes the potential lien claimant’s contact information and the name of the party being contracted with. This notice must be sent within 15 days of the first day of work.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-11.2(f)

Addresses the methods of delivery deemed acceptable for furnishing the Notice to Lien Agent, including:

  • Certified mail, return receipt requested
  • Signature confirmation via USPS
  • Physical delivery with receipt from lien agent
  • Facsimile with a facsimile confirmation
  • Designated delivery service pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2)
  • Electronic mail with receipt
  • Secure online portal pursuant to G.S. 44A-11.1

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-12(b)

Establishes a 120-day deadline extending from the final provision of labor for contractors looking to file a claim of lien.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-12(c)(3)

Requires any claim of lien to include a thorough description of the real property being targeted. Relevant examples are included in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-12(c)(3).

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-12(d)

Bans amendments to an existing claim of lien on real property. However, a claim of lien can be canceled and a new claim can be submitted as long as the original filing deadlines are satisfied.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-13

Institutes a 180-day enforcement deadline extending from the last provision of labor or materials. This deadline cannot be extended, and missing it will cause your lien to be invalidated.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-18

Covers grant of lien upon funds, subrogation, and perfection. Defines first-tier, second-tier, and third-tier subcontractors. This is an especially complex statute that can be misleading for contractors. Consult an Asheville construction attorney to see how N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-18 could affect your lien rights.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-18(f)

Requires the obligor to retain incoming funds from their next source of payment to satisfy a subcontractor’s claim of lien on funds.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 44A-35 

Makes attorney fees recoverable for the prevailing party if reasoned to be necessary by the judge’s decision.

If you would like to speak with an Asheville contractor attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.