Have you been unpaid for a construction project you’ve completed? Well, contractors and material suppliers can file a mechanics lien to receive payment for their projects.
This tool enables claimants to file a claim within a given deadline, as short as sixty days, to negotiate a payment. Nevertheless, in order for one’s claim to be considered valid, it has to meet all the necessary state law requirements.
Those interested in filing a mechanic’s lien in the state of Alabama should follow these preliminary steps, provided by bicanet.com.
Check your rights
Prior to filing a mechanics lien, claimants are supposed to inspect whether they have the right to file one. States differ in terms of their requirements imposed to candidates regarding lien protection qualification, allowing different types of construction participants to qualify. For instance, the majority of states allow material suppliers, general contractors, and subcontractors to file such a claim.
In contrast, other types of workers such as solar panel installers, landscapers, design professionals, and fence rental companies aren’t always considered qualified for filing a mechanics lien. The state of Alabama isn’t rigorous when it comes to providing such rights to construction businesses. Although it protects contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and equipment rental companies, Alabama lien laws provide no protection to design professionals and surveyors.
The following thing to check is whether the state requires you to send a notice. Potential claimants should check the law requirements for two types of notice; the preliminary notice and the notice of intent to lien. The former is supposed to be delivered to property owners at the onset of the procedure, within a given timeframe, different in each state. The failure of sending the notice on time means losing the rights to file a claim.
The notice of intent to lien, on the other hand, is only required by a handful of states. In fact, this type of notice is more convenient for laborers to send in comparison with the preliminary notice, as the former should be sent right before filing the claim. Click here to learn when is the best time to file a mechanics lien.
Additionally, checking the deadline of your state is considered essential due to the strictness of these timeframes. For example, the mechanics lien deadline in the state of Alabama is 120 days, allowing laborers to file a claim within four months following the provision of labor or materials.
Draft the lien form
After learning you have the rights to file such a claim, you’re supposed to draft the lien form. It’s paramount for the information included in the claim to be compliant with the information prescribed by state laws. When filling out the form, claimants should be careful with the lien amount, their names, and description of the property.
Moreover, determining the claim amount can be tricky for claimants, given the variety of costs that can be included in the overall amount. Most laborers and material suppliers are confused about whether to include the entire contract price or just the completed work. In most states, claimants are allowed to request reimbursement only for the job they’ve completed or the materials they’ve delivered.
Furthermore, most laborers are also confused about the information they need to enter in the claimant’s name field. It’s paramount for you to use your legal name in the document so as to prevent the property owner from winning the court case because of a wrong name.
Ultimately, claimants are required to identify the property correctly in order to prevent the claim from being considered invalid. The safest way for claimants not to make mistakes with the property description is by using its legal property description.
File the lien
Once you filled out the form, it’s time to file the claim in the right county. Keep in mind that the claim isn’t supposed to be filed in the county where you, the property owner, or the general contractor is located, but the county where the construction site is. Afterward, you need to find the county recorder’s office, which also goes by the names tax records office or county clerk’s office.
In order to avoid getting your lien rejected by the county clerk, make sure you gain insight into the specific requirements of the county office. For instance, it happens for the claim to be rejected in the event of improper document format, insufficient fee payment, a lack of cover sheet, and typos. Having a consultation with the office clerk prior to filing the document is highly recommended for learning all intricate details related to the procedure.
When it comes to delivering the lien, claimants are provided with three options. One can file the claim in person, mail it to a courier, or send it electronically. The best alternative is filing the document in-person, as you can handle any irregularities along the way.
Conversely, being out of state leaves one with no other alternative but mailing it. Nevertheless, potential mailing delays should be taken into consideration in order to prevent delays. Ultimately, electronic filing is possible in some counties as long as claimants use a third-party service to send the document.
Make sure not to miss the deadline or overlook some of the essential details of the procedure. Country clerks are rigorous when inspecting the claims!