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"Liens" Posts

Protecting Lien Rights on Retail Projects

When contractors and suppliers do work on retail projects, contractors and suppliers can be faced with certain complex problems that you need to make sure that you are aware of in order to fully protect you and enforce your rights.
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Liens for Maintenance and Snow Removal

In Utah, lien rights are limited to work which is done for the alternation, repair, or improvement of property.  Often, landscape contractors and others who do maintenance work want to file liens for the work that they have done.  Since maintenance work does not qualify for liens, nor does snow removal, we often have contractors call and ask whether they can get paid for maintenance work.  Of course, the answer is: no.  But, even though a construction lien cannot be used for maintenance or snow removal, a judgment lien can. 
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Idaho Construction Lien Law

In the recent decision of Parkwest Homes, LLC v. Barnson the Idaho Supreme Court reaffirmed the long standing doctrine in Idaho Mechanics Lien Law that liens are lost to lenders and other interest holders when they are not named as defendants in the lawsuit before the lien foreclosure deadline expires.
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Attorney Fees for Idaho Liens

Recently, in the case of Magleby v. Jenks Brothers Inc., the Idaho Supreme Court entered a decision concerning the allowance of attorney fees when a default judgment is taken on a mechanics lien claim.  In Magleby, the trial court only granted the contractors attorney fees for the amount stated in the complaint.  The judge concluded that the contractor was not entitled to an additional amount beyond what was specifically stated in the complaint.  However, the contractors attorney argued that while this decision would be appropriate where a default was entered after simply 20 days, in this particular case there was a great deal of settlement conversation and communication together with changes in parties before a final judgment was actually entered.  As a result of that the contractor’s attorney put in a substantial amount of work and charged the necessary fees in order to try and bring the case to a conclusion. 
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Idaho Lien Law: Listing Defendants in Lien Foreclosure Lawsuits

Recently, in the case of Parkwest Homes, LLC vs. Barnson, 294 Pacific 3d 1125 (Idaho 2012), the Idaho Supreme Court reaffirmed the long standing position that a valid lien timely filed may still be lost as to certain parties, if, when the lawsuit foreclosing the lien is filed, the owner, lenders, other lien claimants, and any person with a claim to title is not included as a defendant in the lawsuit.
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Utah Construction Lien Laws: Lien Legislation 2013

On Monday, February 11, 2013 a committee of representatives from the Construction, Banking and Title Industry met to discuss changes to the State Construction Registry and other Lien and Bond laws.  As a result of the discussions, changes are going to be made to the operation of the Utah State Construction Registry for allowing Banks to payoff Preliminary Notices which have been filed before a Construction Loan has closed.  Additionally, since the State Construction Registry fails to adequately provide for operation of projects where multiple parcels are included in one project or where one parcel includes multiple projects, changes will be made to the State Construction Registry to allow General Contractors and Banks to know and understand the specific Preliminary Notices applying to individual construction projects and to be able to manage their risks appropriately.
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Wyoming Lien Law: Wyoming Notice of Lien

In Wyoming, contractors and suppliers have several requirements in order to obtain and enforce lien rights on property. First, contractors and suppliers are required to provide property owners with a preliminary notice and this notice is required to include the legal description for the property.  The notice is due within 30 days of the contractor or suppliers’ first work or furnishing of materials.  Once a contractor or supplier decides to file a lien, they are required to give the owner 20 days’ notice of intent.  After the 20 days’ notice of intent has been given, then a lien can be filed subcontractor liens are due within 120 days of last work and general contractors liens are due within 150 days of last work.  In the lien statement, Wyoming has certain unique requirements including an itemization of the amounts claimed, and also a requirement that unpaid invoices and a copy of the contract be attached to the lien. 
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Utah Lien Law: Legislation for 2013

In January, the Utah Legislature will convene and there will be work done on State Construction Registry Rules and other lien law.  Some of the issues will be deciding whether or not an owner has the responsibility to post parcel information at the job site in a conspicuous location so that contractors and material suppliers would be able to have information directly at the job site to use to identify the project in the state construction registry. 
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Difference Between a Construction Lien and Judgment Lien

Now that contractors and suppliers are required to file preliminary notices in the State Construction Registry to have construction/mechanics lien rights, I am frequently asked by contractors who do service work or other work directly for owners, whether they should file a preliminary notice for every job.  Since many of these jobs are of relatively small value, the administrative costs of filing a preliminary notice for each job can be significant.  Therefore, one of the recommendations I make is to use the judgment lien process rather than the construction lien process. 
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Liens for Maintenance and Snow Removal

In Utah, lien rights are limited to work which is done for the alternation, repair, or improvement of property.  Often, landscape contractors and others who do maintenance work want to file liens for the work that they have done.  Since maintenance work does not qualify for liens, nor does snow removal, we often have contractors call and ask whether they can get paid for maintenance work.  Of course, the answer is: no.  But, even though a construction lien cannot be used for maintenance or snow removal, a judgment lien can. 
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Colorado Lien Law: Notice of Intent to Lien

In Colorado, prior to filing a Mechanics Lien, lien claimants are required to serve the owner and general contractor a Notice of Intent to Lien.  This Notice must be served no less than 10 days before the Lien is recorded.  Colorado Courts recognize that failure to serve the Notice will invalidate the lien right. 
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Colorado Mechanics Lien Deadlines

In Colorado your lien filing deadline is 4 months after your last work, unless:
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Montana Construction Lien Law: Lien Priority

In Montana, the liens of contractors, suppliers, architects, engineers and others relate back to and take effect prior to construction loans.  In most states, lien claimants must discover the date of first visible work on the property and if that date is before a loan is recorded, then the liens will have priority over the loan.  However, in Montana, the law specifically provides that construction loans are behind the liens of those who improve the property.  Therefore, it is not required that visible work occurred before a loan is in place for the liens of contractors and suppliers to be ahead of the construction loan.
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Montana Construction Lien Law: Notice of Lien Claim

In Montana contractors are required to file liens within 90 days after furnishing their last service or material.  When the lien claim is filed in Montana you are required to certify to the county clerk that a copy of the lien has been served on the owner.  The format for the certification is similar to a certificate of service which is attached to pleadings filed with the court.
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Montana Construction Lien Law: Notice of Right to Claim Lien

In Montana, suppliers and subcontractors are required to record a Notice of Right to Claim Lien for construction projects involving four-plexes, tri-plexes, duplexes, and single family dwellings.  Although a Notice of Right to Claim Lien is not required for other types of construction projects, it is advisable for Subcontractors and Suppliers to record a Notice of Right to Claim Lien on any privately owned construction project in Montana. 
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