Note: Please follow this link to read a new article about how legal holidays affect lien and notice deadlines.
Thanksgiving leftovers are disappearing from the fridge, there is a chill in the air and it’s now clear: the holidays are here. Anyone over 12 years old knows that the holiday season flies by. We’ll soon be replacing the 2012 calendar with the 2013 edition and running end-of-year financial reports. Unfortunately, mechanics lien deadlines don’t slow down during the holiday season.
Reminder: Clerk Recorders Close On Holidays
We extend this reminder to our readers and clients every year around the holidays: Recording Offices Are Closed During The Holidays! This fact should be obvious (this is the government, after all). It should also be obvious that you can’t file a mechanics lien when the recording office is closed.
What does that mean? It means that you’ll have to wait until the next business day for the recorder and you’ll mechanics lien will get that date as the recording date.
It’s important, therefore, that you know exactly when the recorders are closed, right?
Christmas day is a Tuesday this year. Christmas Eve is a Monday. As most recorders will be closed on both Monday and Tuesday for the holiday, that means the recording office will be shut down in most counties from December 22 – December 26th. That’s a pretty significant stretch, and it doesn’t take into account any other days (like the day after Christmas) that may be a holiday in some counties.
There are no holiday rules that apply nationwide, or even statewide. Oftentimes, holidays taken off by county recorders will differ from county-to-county, and it’s important to check with your specific county to see what days they will be open as the holiday season sets in.
Lien Deadlines May Expire Before A Weekend of Holiday
So if your mechanics lien deadline falls on a weekend or holiday the deadline extends until the next court day, right? Maybe, but maybe not.
The fact is that each state answers this question differently, and unfortunately, the answer is oftentimes buried deep in the state’s procedural rules and difficult to locate. The safe practice is to file your mechanics lien before the weekend or holiday if your deadline expires on such a date.
Holidays / Weekends Are Counted When You Calculate Mechanics Lien Deadlines
A few weeks ago I had a pretty sophisticated credit manager for a pretty large company call me about a mechanics lien deadline thinking that they were within the statutory period because weekends and holidays didn’t count. In other words, when counting off the lien period, they skipped every single weekend and holiday. Each week only had a maximum of 5 days. They were quite confident in this rule.
It is not, however, a rule. Not in the state where the caller was located, nor is it a rule anywhere else in the United States. Always count weekends and holidays when counting your lien deadlines, and when your deadline ends on a weekend or holiday beware – an earlier filing may be required.
Free Payment Rights Advisor Tool from Levelset
One of the most important questions about lien rights concerns whether a potential claimant even has the right to file a lien in the first place. What happens if filing a mechanics lien isn’t an option? What are some other actions to take when you’re having a payment issue? We have a free tool that will help you with these questions. It’s called the Payment Rights Advisor. It only takes a couple of minutes — just answer 5 quick questions about your job, and the Payment Rights Advisor will give you all of your best options, including whether or not you qualify for mechanics lien rights.