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A mechanic’s lien must be filed in a timely manner and in compliance with certain rules and specifications for the court to consider it valid. Minnesota law requires legal representation for corporate contractors who seek to foreclose mechanic's liens. Sole proprietors are not required to retain legal counsel, but due to the complex nature of enforcing a mechanic’s lien, it is not advisable to proceed without legal assistance.

Steps to filing a mechanic's lien

Pre-lien notice: Before a mechanic’s lien is even served, contractors and subcontractors must give written pre-lien notice. This is a vital step irrespective of the nature and size of the job because without pre-lien notice, the mechanic’s lien will be invalidated. Before work is even started on a property, general contractors who plan on hiring subcontractors to perform work must provide the owner with written pre-lien notice, apprising the owner that a mechanic’s lien may be filed against the property in the event of non-payment. Subcontractors, with limited exceptions, must also provide pre-lien notice. The standards for pre-lien notice are extremely important to follow, down to the exact wording and font.

File a mechanic's lien statement: When a contractor has failed to receive payment for a job and decides to make a claim on the property through a mechanic’s lien, the contractor must file a mechanic’s lien statement at the county recorder or register of deed’s office and serve a copy on the owner. This is a straightforward form document that lists the basic information of the job, such as the contractor and owner’s names, the property involved, the amount owed, and the time period in which the work was performed. This document must be filed and served within 120 days of the last day work was performed.

Take action: Once a mechanic’s lien statement has been filed and served, the claimant must commence a lawsuit within a year from the last day of work in order to preserve the lien. Courts are very particular about timelines being followed. If any of these timelines are missed, the lien will be denied. 

At FSSK, we have experience effectively representing both owners and contractors in mechanic’s lien disputes. Our unique experience gives us an advantage because we understand the complex issues inherent in mechanic's lien disputes from both the owner and contractor perspectives.

If you're looking for qualified and trusted Minneapolis/St. Paul attorneys, please call our Golden Valley office at 763-398-1676 or fill out this quick form to schedule a consultation.

This website features educational information based on general legal principles in Minnesota.  Specific legal advice is contingent upon the unique facts of each case.  Therefore, you should not rely only on this information for your particular legal issue.  Contact an attorney to obtain advice specific to your legal situation.  Read our full disclaimer.

Informational Articles Disclaimer

This website features educational information based on general legal principles in Minnesota.  Specific legal advice is contingent upon the unique facts of each case.  Therefore, you should not rely only on this information for your particular legal issue.  Contact an attorney to obtain advice specific to your legal situation.  Read our full disclaimer.

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