Improvements made to properties can be expensive, but mechanic’s liens ensure that contractors are paid, both for their labor and the materials used.
A mechanic’s lien is made to ensure that people who work to improve the property are paid for their services. If not settled by the property owner, liens can decrease a property’s market value by creating a cloud on the property’s public records. It’s important to note that liens should be treated as a last resort when there is no payment being made for a construction or maintenance job.
Mechanic’s liens are legal in all 50 states, but the rules and processes vary from state to state. In Missouri, some important deadlines and regulations must be followed to ensure your lien is valid. Leaving out or providing incorrect information, or using the wrong form, could cause the entire lien to be deemed invalid.
Before filing a mechanic’s lien, there are three notices you must file: a Notice to Owner, a Notice of Intent to Lien, and a Notice of Lien Rights. If these notices are not filed correctly or in the proper timeline, you will lose your right to file.
Under Missouri law, liens must be verified by oath, and include the five items below:
- The formal name of the business filing the claim.
- A “just and true” account of the demand for payment.
- A truthful description of the property.
- The identity of the property owner.
- The identity of the general contractor, if applicable.
A “just and true” account in Missouri law varies from case to case. Often this requires an itemized breakdown of all the materials and labor used for the project. Attorney costs and charges that have already been settled by the property owner are not allowed to be included in the just and true account.
After compiling the necessary information above, you must record your mechanic’s lien within six months of your last day working on the property at the recorder’s office in the county where the property is. You do not have to send a copy of the mechanic’s lien to the property owner, but it may encourage the owner to settle the payment sooner rather than later.
Once you have received your payment, you are required to cancel your lien within 10 days to remove the lien from the property’s public record. If the lien does not result in payment within six months, you can file a foreclosure lawsuit on the property.
Are you looking to file a mechanic’s lien? Whatever your lien needs are, Monarch Title Company is here to help.