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Earlier this week a potential client contacted us with a dilemma: They had waited the entire lien period expecting to get paid and now needed to file a mechanics lien by the end of the day.  It was 12:30pm.  Could it be done?

Levelset had the lien prepared and recorded within an hour. This is a tribute to our system and staff, but that doesn’t mean this can be accomplished for every mechanics lien filing.  This post explains how Levelset’s service got it done this time, and what you have to keep in mind when you get close to your deadlines.

Levelset Electronically Files Liens Across The Country – Meaning We Can Act Fast

When you order a mechanics lien from levelset , our service doesn’t waste any time. We have a full-time staff that immediately begins to verify your order information by pulling deed and mortgage records. Our proprietary software prepares your lien claim documents, and then it’s on its way off to the recorder.

Thanks to the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, which has been adopted by a majority of states, more than 500 counties across the country allow mechanic liens to be electronically recorded.  This provides an enormously more efficient method of recording than the physical delivery previously required.

In counties that do not accept electronic recording, documents must be sent to the recorder by courier. This has a lot of built-in delays. If, for example, a county rejects a document, the time to communicate that rejection can be days.  When a document is electronically recorded, it’s just minutes.  County recorders, by the way, reject documents a lot. Sometimes, for no reason at all.

In the story I started above, the mechanics lien was filed in Multnomah County. This county is one of the best out there with a turn-around time of just 10-15 minutes (usually).  Once our software prepared the mechanics lien and the document was submitted for e-recording, it was only a ten minute wait until the lien came back recorded.

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You Won’t Always Get Away With Waiting Until The Last Minute To Record A Mechanics Lien

The story about the mechanics lien filed in under an hour is a great story, but you shouldn’t rely on it and think you can always get away with waiting until the last minute to file your mechanics lien.  There are a number of things that went perfectly right for this customer that may not go so perfectly in your situation.

First, the work was performed in a county where e-recording was allowed.  There are a lot of counties that allow e-recording these days, but it’s not all of them. Don’t assume your county (even if its a big county – New York, NY doesn’t currently offer e-recording!) will have e-recording available.

Second, the county had an extremely fast turn-around time for e-recording documents. Sometimes, counties have a wait list of 4-10 hours to get a document recorded.  I’ve submitted a document at 9am and waited until the very last minute – literally – of the work day until the document was recorded.  You never know …

Third, the property had a simple legal description easily located.  Sometimes, property addresses are inexact and an abstraction service must be hired to get the legal description.  This is unusual, but it happens.  In this instance, we had no trouble getting the deed and legal records.

Fourth, and finally, nothing went wrong.  There are a lot of variables to getting a mechanics lien recorded and sometimes none of them cause trouble. Sometimes, all of them cause trouble.  You don’t want your mechanics lien rights hinged on the good luck of having these variables go your way.

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