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Short Answer:  No

Long Answer:  “Freedom of Contract” is the “freedom of individuals and corporations to form contracts without government restrictions.”  While there is certainly a default “freedom” in America for parties to contract for whatever they want there are certain restrictions.

We’ve discussed some of these restrictions on this blog in the past.  See, for example, articles about “No Lien Clauses” and “Public Policy” considerations.

Another such restriction occurs with respect to statutory limitations on how long a claimant has to file a mechanics lien. Every state restricts this period in some way or another. It is a general rule across the United States that the lien filing period cannot be extended by contract or agreement of the parties. The restriction is simply a matter of public policy – for what that’s worth.

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As is frequently the case, I was inspired to write this article because a client contacted us presenting this issue. The client was approaching its lien deadline and a property owner was promising payment. The payment, however, would only come after the lien deadline passed.  For a related situation, see this article:  Promises To Pay Mean Squat To Your Mechanics Lien Deadlines.

While the parties may both have good intentions, it’s simply an impossibility. The mechanics lien deadline will come and go regardless of any agreements, contracts, excuses or promises. Accordingly, anyone who is owed money will very much want to secure their claim before the expiration of the lien deadline.

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