Whether you’re working on one project with lots of different owners or on a contract that covers work on many different properties, you may find yourself needing to file multiple liens at once. In this post, we walk you through the steps to file multiple mechanics liens fast.
Filing multiple liens at once can be a struggle
Filing a lien may be overwhelming, but with so many quick and easy options for preparing your liens with software or services, we’ll consider “a lot” to be more than 5. That’s the number where things can get tricky, especially if you’re working in several states.
While preparing and recording just 5-10 liens may seem like a lot to you, Levelset has helped companies file as many as 150 separate liens in short order! These bulk lien orders typically come from companies working dozens of jobs for one trusted customer that runs out of money or declares bankruptcy (often maintenance, property management, or restoration companies). When you have past due invoices from a customer who declares bankruptcy, it should be a major cause for concern and trigger your decision about filing a series of mechanics liens to get paid what you are owed.
Whether you need to file 5 liens or 500, this guide is a great place to start for anyone looking to file multiple liens.
How to file multiple mechanics liens
Step 1: Make sure you have lien rights
Lien rights are available in all 50 states, but they vary greatly state to state. They’re typically granted to those who provided labor or material for the permanent improvement of a property. This often includes direct contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, equipment lessors, and laborers, and some times other parties like design professionals (i.e. architects, engineers, and surveyors).
Since every state has it’s own rules and deadlines, it’s important to know how they apply to your project before filing a lien. There may be preliminary notice requirements for you to fulfill prior to filing a lien, or perhaps you have lien rights in on a project in one state but not in another.
Learn more about lien rights and your state’s specific requirements here:
Step 2: Gather information
Filing liens requires you know some basic information about each of your projects / separate properties.
Using a spreadsheet can be helpful to manage the data needed for every property and project. Keeping this information organized and in one place is going to be crucial throughout the process, and knowing what information you have and what info you still need to find for the lien claim is very important.
Here’s some information that’s commonly required:
- Property owner
- Property address
- Legal property description
- Description of labor or materials
- Amount of the lien claim (Amount Owed)
- Date labor and/or materials first provided
- Date labor and/or materials last provided
Note that every state may specify slightly different information so there could be extra details that you need, but this is a good place to start.
Don’t have all of the information you need? Levelset can help you fill in the missing pieces. Learn more about how we help companies file liens.
Step 3: Draft the liens
Once you have all of the necessary information, it’s time to draft the actual liens. Make sure you use the correct form for the state where your project is located. If your projects are in multiple states, you’ll need to use different forms for the different properties. If you need some help, Levelset has free mechanic’s liens templates for all 50 states.
Fill out each form with the required information (most of which was probably included in Step 1). This gets tedious, especially if you’re filing several liens. However, it’s an area where you can’t afford to make mistakes! Small errors can invalidate the entire lien claim result in the lien being rejected by the county recorder’s office. Take your time and make sure it’s done right.
As you’re working through this process, you’ll want to check out the requirements for each county you’re filing in. Counties have different regulations on what you need to submit like unique coversheets and filing fees.
Step 4: File with recorders office(s)
After the liens are ready to go, it’s time to file them with the respective county recorder office (or county clerk’s office, depending on the state). Every country has its own quirks. Some have electronic filing (also called “e-filing” or “e-recording”), which makes it much easier to file multiple liens.
Unfortunately, many recorders require that you deliver a physical lien – either in person or by mail. For the requirements in each county, check out their website for more details.
Step 5: Deliver/Serve Lien to Required Parties
Most states require that the lien be mailed or sometimes served to different parties associated with the project. This can include the property owner, your client, the lender, etc. Laws often outline the delivery method, too (like first-class mail, certified mail, or even service from the sheriff).
Learn more about your state(s) requirements in our Mechanics Lien FAQs.
Want to skip Steps 3, 4 and 5?
There are so many details when it comes to filing a single lien. When you multiply that by 5, the process can become extremely time-consuming. Multiply it by 20, and you might have a nightmare on your hands.
Using a provider like Levelset can take the stress out of the process and increase your chance of getting all the money you’re owed. The process is very simple and starts with us a call or email where we learn more about your situation.
First, we’ll provide you with a quote. Once you’re ready to proceed with the liens, we can import all of your project data. Each lien is researched by our team and we’ll help fill the gaps with missing information. Within a few days, the liens will be placed for recording with the appropriate recorder’s office. Our 5-star support team is here every step of the way and you can log in to access tracking information for each and every lien.
Ready to get started with your bulk lien order? Give us a call at 833-600-0524 or send us an email.