In the Tar Heel State, “any person who performs or furnishes labor or professional design or surveying services or furnishes materials or furnishes rental equipment pursuant to a contract… [has] a right to file a claim of lien on real property…to secure payment of all debts” under § 44A-8. North Carolina is an unpaid balance state, which means the lien secures the remaining project cost minus all previous payments that have been processed at the time the lien is filed.
Liens can be confusing, especially when it comes to meeting deadlines that differ from state to state. If you need to file a lien on an owner who is withholding payment, a Charlotte construction lien attorney can ensure that your lien is processed by the appropriate deadline.
Who Can File a Lien?
By filing a lien, you establish that you have completed the work in question and have not been paid. It’s imperative that you can designate and explain the alterations you made to a structure in order to file a lien successfully. If you are thinking of filing a lien to acquire outstanding compensation from an owner, your role on the project must fit into one of the following descriptions:
- You contracted directly with the owner or investor.
- You are a first tier subcontractor and the general contractor has not been fully compensated.
- You are a first, second, or third tier subcontractor who can’t be properly compensated based on what the owner or investor paid the general contractor.
- You are a second or third tier subcontractor or supplier working through a subrogation of the general contractor’s lien. Higher level subcontractors may have been paid, but the general contractor is still collecting or attempting to collect funds.
North Carolina Lien Deadlines
In order to file a lien against an owner or investor with an outstanding balance, you have to pay close attention to the various deadlines for filing a lien. In North Carolina, lien deadlines are generally uniform for general contractors, subcontractors, laborers, suppliers, and others.
- General Contractors: Issue the preliminary Notice to Lien Agent within 15 days from the first provision of labor or materials. The Mechanics Lien must be served no longer than 120 days after the last provision of labor or materials and enforced within 180 days of this date.
- Subcontractors/Laborers/Suppliers/Others: Issue the preliminary Notice to Lien Agent within 15 days from the first provision of labor or materials. The Mechanics Lien must be served no longer than 120 days after the last provision of labor or materials, and enforced within 180 days of this date. You may also require a Notice of Subcontract.
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.