Nationwide Blogs

What is a Lien and How Long Does It Last

Liens are legal claims against a piece of property that are recorded with the local county. Mechanics liens are claims made against a property by a contractor or subcontractor who hasn’t been paid for work that has been completed on that property. If you’re a contractor, you know how difficult it can be to get paid on time.

By filing a lien, you put yourself in a better position to get the money you deserve because it prevents the owner from selling the property until it is paid off. If you’re considering filing a lien on a property for work that hasn’t been paid for, then you might be wondering how long a mechanics lien lasts. In this post, we will provide you with a breakdown of what liens are, and how long they can remain in effect.

How Liens Work

Liens filed on the property put a cloud on the owner’s title making it impossible for an owner to close on their house when it comes time for them to sell. Unless paid off, the lien will remain on the title until it is fully paid, or the lien period expires. Once the lien has expired without having been paid off, there is a possibility that the bank responsible for the mortgage can foreclose on the property which will result in the homeowner losing their house.

Contractors who haven’t been paid for the work they’ve done on a property can file a mechanics lien with the county. In doing so, the owner becomes incentivized to actually pay the money they owe to avoid foreclosure or having the lien show up on a title search during the closing of the sale of their home.

How Long Do Liens Last?

The period for how long a lien can last will vary depending on your state. However, most liens remain on a title for up to 2 years. Once the lien has expired, the bank can no longer start the foreclosure process due to the unpaid lien. Instead, the bank must file a foreclosure action before the lien expires. With that in mind, it is in the homeowner’s best interests to avoid having any unpaid liens on their property’s title to avoid foreclosure.

While a two-year period can be a long time to wait if you’re a contractor who hasn’t been paid, filing a lien for unpaid work is still your best option if the property owner has refused to pay you for your services.

Nationwide Notice

If you’re a contractor looking to get the money you deserve on an unpaid job, then consider consulting the professionals at Nationwide Notice. We are a full and self-service lien and notice company that has been serving contractors for years. Our team of dedicated lien experts can help you through the lien process and get you paid fast. Nothing is more frustrating than working hard on a project only to find out that the property owner refuses to pay. At Nationwide Notice, our goal is to help contractors and subcontractors secure their lien rights while getting them the money they deserve on their terms. Nationwide Notice specializes in lien laws and related documents. Assisting construction companies in securing payments is what we do. Check out our website here to learn more, or click here to check out our specific services.

Contact Us