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When Should You Seriously Consider Filing a Mechanic’s Lien?

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A mechanic’s lien is often a contractor or subcontractor’s last resort for receiving overdue payment from an uncooperative owner. It is a major step towards repayment and creates more options for legal action. At Cotney Construction Law, we understand that the filing of a mechanic’s lien may be the only viable option when seeking reimbursement for materials and services provided. Here, a Charlotte construction lien attorney will detail when you should consider filing a mechanic’s lien.

A Difficult Owner

Every effort should be made to resolve payment disputes before a mechanic’s lien is filed. If you’ve reached out by way of phone calls, emails, and letters to no avail, you may be dealing with an owner who is trying to dodge their responsibilities. Don’t stop reaching out in a professional manner, but be mindful of what their lack of response means.  

Worse still is a difficult client that is indecisive on the scope of a project. They may refuse payment until the construction project meets their increasingly demanding specifications. Their constantly changing expectations could be impossible to satisfy, at which point a contractor may have little recourse but to consider placing a lien against the property.

Approaching Deadlines

A Preliminary Notice is the first step in filing a mechanic’s lien against a property. In North Carolina, it is required that a Notice to Lien Agent be sent to the lien agent prior to filing. This notice must be sent within 15 days after improvement has begun on a project.

The deadline for filing a mechanic’s lien in North Carolina is four months after the last day that labor or materials were provided on the improved property. Any lien filed after this deadline will not be valid. You need to seriously consider your options if this deadline is fast approaching.

Radio Silence  

Before a mechanic’s lien is filed, a demand letter should be sent to the owner. This letter should outline the specifics of the dispute and the legal consequences of not resolving it. A demand letter from a Charlotte mechanic’s lien attorney should be enough to motivate the owner into reaching out for a solution. The letter presents the amount you are owed and shows that a mechanic’s lien is a real possibility. If a demand letter goes ignored, you know that you have an owner that is not budging on payment.

If you would like to speak with a Charlotte construction lien 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.