As Scott and I have mentioned many times on this blog – mechanic’s liens do not last forever. At some point, the lien claimant is required to initiate foreclosure proceedings (or, occasionally other enforcement proceedings) or the lien will expire. Also, as we have noted, the time a lien will encumber property before the deadline comes to foreclose varies by state. Some mechanic’s liens, like those in California, have a relatively short effective period, others, like liens in Louisiana, have a longer period.
In Indiana, a lien mechanic’s lien generally remains an encumbrance on the property for one year from the date on which the lien was received for recording. If that date passes without a foreclosure action having been filed to enforce the lien the lien is extinguished, and the lien claimant loses the protection of the property securing the bad debt. There is, however, a way for the property owner, or anybody else with an interest in the property, to significantly shorten a lien’s effective period in Indiana.
If the property owner, or other party with an interest in the property, properly serves a 30-day Notice to Foreclose on the lien claimant, the period in which an action to foreclose the lien must be initiated is shortened from 1 year all the way down to 30 days from receipt of the notice. There are some specific requirements for what wording must be included in the notice, and specific requirements as to how the notice must be sent to the lien claimant, but the fact remains that a lien claimant in Indiana may be forced to initiate foreclosure of his lien claim within 30 days, not the 1-year period he initially imagined.