How to Make Sure You File a Mechanic's Lien in Time

Mechanic's Lien

Have you ever wondered how you should file your mechanic's lien? If so, the answer is ‘very carefully'. The slightest mistake could render your lien invalid, which means you will not be able to force payment due to you. This really isn't facetious either. Filling a mechanic's lien is unforgiving business, which is why you should always consider enlisting the services of a professional such as If you miss a deadline by as little as a single day, you will lose all your rights to file a lien. And this is true for all legal documents, liens, notices and forms that a supplier or contractor may use to demand payment.

How to Work out the Deadline

The big question is how you can work out what your deadline for filing a lien actually is. As an example, let's accept the hypothesis that the last time you furnished materials and labour was on April 10, 2015 (you can, by the way, replace this with any other date that is applicable to your personal situation, but we will stick to April 10 for ease of the example). You only have 10 days after that to file and/or record your lien, which would be April 20, 2015. There are some specific rules that you have to keep in mind:

  1. The first day, which is the day that you actually last furnished materials and labor (April 10, 2015 in this example), does not count. You will receive 10 full days following the actual completion by the court. Should you have finished your work at 5pm on April 10, you simply would not have the time to make a filing, which would make it unfair. This would also mean that people would start requesting fractions of days, which will lead to countless extra paperwork and disgruntled filers. Hence, the courts have decided that your time starts the day AFTER your final day of furnishing. Day 1, in this example therefore, will be April 11, 2015. Be aware, however, that day 1 can fall on business days, but also on weekends or national holidays. It will still count as day 1.
  2. You must always count your days in calendar days and not in business days.
  3. You must include federal holidays and weekends in your calculation.
  4. If the last, which is the 10th, day falls on a federal holiday or on a weekend, then you are given the next working day. So, if your 10th day would fall on a Sunday, then you will be able to file until close of play on the next Monday, effectively buying yourself an extra 24 hours.

So, in the example we have been using, with April 10, 2015 being a Friday, your last day to file would actually be April 20, 2015, which fell on a Monday. Unfortunately, if you miss this final day, it is unforgiving and you will not be given a second chance or an extra day to file.

If you have any questions, please ask below!