When filing an Arizona mechanics lien, you’ll come upon a blank in the form asking you to fill in the amount of your lien claim. This may seem like a simple field, but it’s a minefield, and you must be careful not to make a mistake here that will invalidate your mechanics lien rights.
Determining what you can and what you cannot lien for is a topic that many folks have spent millions and millions of dollars in attorneys fees litigating across the country. It’s also a frequently asked question here on this blog.
The key question always comes down to this: Can you include attorneys fees, lien costs, filing fees, collection costs, and other amounts into the mechanics lien claim total?
Jurisdictions differ greatly in how this question is answered, but in Arizona, the answer is a pretty resounding No. When completing a mechanics lien claim in Arizona, you’ll want to strip your lien amount of these amounts completely, erring on the side of caution whenever possible to include only the amounts that are completely related to the work or materials you furnished to the project.
That is not to say you can’t collect on those amounts.
Whether you can collect attorney fees, costs and other expenses is a different question from whether you can include the fees in your mechanics lien. If you foreclose on the lien, the court may award the prevailing party the money paid for recording the lien, attorney’s fees, and the necessary expenses incurred by the attorney, as costs.
Just don’t include it when filing your Arizona’s mechanics lien.