We’ve discussed at length the benefits and limitations of e-recording services for your mechanics lien, and concluded that electronic filing is generally a massive benefit for the claimant when it is available. E-Recording allows for a much quicker turn-around time for filing documents, and provides the ease of being notified almost instantly if your document has been recorded or rejected. This essentially cuts out the middle-man of having to mail, FedEx, or walk your document in, and then wait for it to come back. While this method to filing your documents may be a blessing, it is still critical to make sure you are using the service to your advantage by getting your Mechanics Lien e-recorded successfully.
The following definitive E-Recording Checklist can help eliminate errors in the process:
- Make sure the county you are attempting to e-record through is the correct office, and that they accept Mechanics Liens for electronic filing. Not every county allows the e-recording of Mechanics Liens. Some states provide state-specific electronic systems (Utah and Iowa specifically) that can be used to electronically record your document, while other counties can e-record through commercial platforms, such as Simplifile. It is always best to check with the county that, however you are sending your document electronically, the correct department is receiving it.
- Find the correct document type. Most E-Recording platforms will offer more filing types than just Mechanics Liens, so it is always critical to understand which type you should be selecting. Some counties vary on what selection should be made, ranging from “Lien,” “Mechanics Lien,” “Construction Lien,” “Real Property,” and even “Other” as the correct type to select when attempting to electronically file your document. The document type generally also affects the fees associated with the filing, so it is always a risk to simply guess the correct document type.
- Complete any special requirements the county deems necessary for e-recording. Many states have specific requirements that must be met for e-recording purposes, whether it’s a specific way for indexing the Grantor and Grantee names (many counties require standardized punctuation and capitalization) or if they require special forms to be submitted with your lien (Tennessee, for instance, requires a special Copy Certification sheet to accompany each document recorded by the county).
- Check all of your basics: make sure you are uploading the correct documents, sending them to the correct county, and have the correct indexing information (such as Grantor and Grantee) if needed. Failure to do so might not automatically result in your incorrect Mechanics Lien being rejected. Several Texas counties, for instance, are notorious for recording just about anything sent to them – even if the property being liened is in a different county!
- Don’t forget that e-recording is not always the only step to successfully completing your mechanics lien. Many states have specific service requirements that are still your responsibility to uphold. Always check that you are serving your document the correct way, and within statute deadlines.