North Carolina Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs

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North Carolina Mechanics Lien Overview

North Carolina

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
15 Days

Notice to Lien Agent required within 15 days from first furnishing labor and/or materials.


Send Your Notice

North Carolina

Mechanics Lien Deadlines
120 Days

Lien filed and served within 120 days from last furnishing labor or materials.


File A Lien Fast

North Carolina

Enforcement Deadlines
180 Days

An action to enforce a North Carolina mechanics lien must be initiated within 180 days after the claimant's last furnishing of labor or materials.

Note that this deadline runs from last furnishing, so it is possible that the deadline could be as short as 60 days from the filing of the lien itself. This deadline may not be extended, and missing the deadline invalidates the lien.

North Carolina

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
15 Days

Notice to Lien Agent required within 15 days from first furnishing labor and/or materials. Notice of Subcontract if Notice of Contract Filed by Prime Contractor.


Send Your Notice

North Carolina

Mechanics Lien Deadlines
120 Days

Lien filed and served within 120 days from last furnishing labor or materials.


File A Lien Fast

North Carolina

Enforcement Deadlines
180 Days

An action to enforce a North Carolina mechanics lien must be initiated within 180 days after the claimant's last furnishing of labor or materials.

Note that this deadline runs from last furnishing, so it is possible that the deadline could be as short as 60 days from the filing of the lien itself. This deadline may not be extended, and missing the deadline invalidates the lien.

North Carolina

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
15 Days

Notice to Lien Agent required within 15 days from first furnishing labor and/or materials. Notice of Subcontract if Notice of Contract Filed by Prime Contractor.


Send Your Notice

North Carolina

Mechanics Lien Deadlines
120 Days

Lien filed and served within 120 days from last furnishing labor or materials.


File A Lien Fast

North Carolina

Enforcement Deadlines
180 Days

An action to enforce a North Carolina mechanics lien must be initiated within 180 days after the claimant's last furnishing of labor or materials.

Note that this deadline runs from last furnishing, so it is possible that the deadline could be as short as 60 days from the filing of the lien itself. This deadline may not be extended, and missing the deadline invalidates the lien.

How to File a North Carolina Mechanics Lien

Ready to file your lien? Download our How to File a North Carolina Mechanics Lien Guide with step-by-step instructions to help you file a North Carolina mechanics lien.

Free North Carolina mechanics lien form downloads:

 – N.C. General Contractor Claim of Lien on Real Property form

 – N.C. Mechanics Lien Upon Funds form

 – N.C. Subcontractors Claim of Lien on Real Property form


 

North Carolina Mechanics Lien FAQs

Contractors, suppliers, property owners, construction lenders, and other vendors will encounter all kinds of lien-related paperwork and questions when working on North Carolina construction jobs. Here are some of the common issues you may encounter, and answers written by construction attorneys and payment experts.

Lien FAQs

Who can file a North Carolina Mechanics Lien?

In North Carolina, “any person who performs or furnishes labor or professional design or surveying services or furnishes materials or furnishes rental equipment pursuant to a contract . . . with the owner of real property for the making of an improvement thereon” has a right to file a claim of lien on real property. However, lien rights in North Carolina are tricky for subcontractors.

Parties that may file a lien against the real property are: 1) party contracting directly with the owner; 2) first tier sub [provided all necessary steps are followed]; 3) first, second, or third tier sub provided the requirements for a claim against funds are complied with, and b) the owner pays the general or higher-tiered sub anyway and does not hold out enough to cover liens; 4) second or third tier subs (and suppliers) through subrogation of the GC’s lien even if the first-tier sub has been paid, when the owner still owes money to the GC and the GC has lien rights – this can be limited if the general files a notice of contract and second or third tier sub does not serve a notice of subcontract; or unless, if both notices are given, the general serves written notice of payment with 5 days of receiving payment.  A recent case also just confirmed expansive mechanics lien rights for design professionals.

Parties that may file a claim on funds: a subcontractor may claim a lien against funds owed to their hiring party (the party on the tier above) and may also be subrogated to that party’s claim.

Parties more remote than a second tier sub may not be subrogated to higher subs’ interest.

Parties may not file a claim against funds when no funds are owed to the higher tier party at the time the lower tier party files the claim of lien.

Another nuance about who can file a mechanics lien was recently analyzed by the North Carolina Court of Appeals in a controversial decision that invalidated a mechanics lien because the parties contracted with a party to do the work who at the time work began was not the actual owner of the property, but only later became an owner. To qualify for a lien pursuant to the law of this case, therefore, you must contract with someone who has an immediate interest in the property being improved. See discussion of this case, John Conner Construction, Inc. et al v. Grandfather Holding Company, Inc., et al in our blog article: North Carolina Mechanics Lien Invalidated Because Court Confused About Term “Owner”

When is the deadline to file a North Carolina Mechanic's Lien?

In North Carolina, a mechanics lien must be filed after the debt becomes due, but within 120 days from the date of last furnishing labor or materials to the project.

If the claim is upon funds, there isn’t a hard “deadline” for making a claim. However, it’s a good idea to send a claim of lien upon funds earlier rather than later. A claim of lien upon funds requires the obligor to withhold funds for the claimant’s benefit. But, if there are no funds left to be withheld on the project, the claimant might not be able to recover.

Do I need to send notice the Lien was recorded?

Yes. A claim of lien on real property is required to be served on the owner of the property as well as filed in the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court in the county in which the property is located. A subcontractor must also serve the general contractor with a copy of the lien. The mechanics lien is not perfected until the lien is both filed and served on the owner (and, if required, the general contractor). This means that the lien must be both filed and served prior to the expiration of 120 days from last furnishing labor and/or materials to the project.

A claim of lien on funds is not required to be filed (unless attached to a lien on real property), but is required to be sent by certified mail to the parties “up-the-chain” from the lien claimant. If the obligor is a corporation, the claim must be addressed to the attention of an officer, director, or managing agent.

Can I include Attorney's Fees, collection costs, or other amounts in the Lien total?

No. In North Carolina, the amount of the mechanics lien is determined by the unpaid amount of labor, material, and/or equipment furnished to the project. Interest and indirect or consequential damages are not allowable in the lien claim. Attorney’s fees may be granted to the prevailing party at the discretion of the judge if the losing party unreasonably refused to resolve the matter.

When is the deadline to enforce a North Carolina Mechanics Lien, or, how long is my Lien effective?

In North Carolina, an action to enforce a mechanics lien against real property must be initiated within 180 days after the date of last furnishing labor or materials to the project. This means that, potentially, a lien claimant could only have 60 days from the filing of the lien until an action to enforce it must be initiated.

There is no specific provision setting the time period in which an action to enforce a lien against contract funds must be initiated.

The foreclosure action itself must meet all the technical requirements of the lien laws, as demonstrated by a recent case that invalidated a mechanics lien because, since a property was sold and ownership changed, the parties were not properly named in the foreclosure action.  As to how to comply with this litigated requirement, see this article: Who is a proper party in a North Carolina Lien Enforcement Action.

Will my North Carolina Lien have priority over pre-existing mortgages or construction loans?

In North Carolina, a mechanics lien generally has priority over other encumbrances to the property attaching after the earliest of either 1) the lien filing; or 2) the Notice of Commencement. There is some controversy as to whether a contractor’s mechanic’s lien on real property or a bank holding the construction mortgage takes priority in a foreclosure action.  We discuss an appeals court’s clear explanation of this area of law, which previously had a bit of uncertainty, in the following article: Appeals Court Restores Sanity to North Carolina Lien Priority Jurisprudence.

Must the North Carolina Lien include a legal property description?

No. In North Carolina, a mechanics lien must “reasonably identify” the property to be charged with the lien. The description does not need to be as detailed as a full legal description.

Must the North Carolina Lien be notarized?

No. North Carolina does not require that a mechanics lien be notarized in order to be valid.

Can I file a North Carolina Lien if I'm unlicensed?

North Carolina imposes no specific licensing requirement in order to file a valid mechanics lien. However, it is never a good idea to perform work for which a license is required without having the proper license.

Can I file a North Carolina Lien on a condominium project?

Yes, a mechanics lien may be filed against a project involving a condominium, provided the lien claimant would otherwise have valid mechanics lien rights.

Who cancels the North Carolina Lien if/when I get paid?

There is no specific provision in North Carolina stating which party is responsible for discharging a lien when the obligation underlying the lien is paid. The lien claimant of record, or the claimant’s agent or attorney, may acknowledge the satisfaction of the claim of lien on real property indebtedness, or the property owner may exhibit an instrument of satisfaction signed and acknowledged by the lien claimant of record which states that the claim of lien on real property indebtedness has been paid or satisfied.

What are the Lien Waiver Rules?

North Carolina does not have statutory lien waiver forms; therefore, you can use any lien waiver form. Since lien waivers are unregulated, be careful when reviewing and signing lien waivers.

Also, North Carolina state law prohibits contractors and suppliers from waiving their right to file a mechanics lien in contract.

To learn more about lien waivers, see our North Carolina Lien Waiver FAQs and Resources.

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North Carolina Mechanics Lien Free Forms

Want to just fill out the North Carolina mechanics lien form yourself and get it filed? Download an easy-to-fill-out mechanics lien document template for free. All Levelset documents are created and curated by construction attorneys and payment experts.

North Carolina General Contractor Claim of Lien on Real Property Form - free from

North Carolina General Contractor Claim of Lien on Real Property Form

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North Carolina Subcontractors Claim of Lien on Real Property Form - free from

North Carolina Subcontractors Claim of Lien on Real Property Form

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North Carolina Mechanics Lien Upon Funds Form - free from

North Carolina Mechanics Lien Upon Funds Form

A subcontractor or supplier may deliver a Notice of Lien On Funds to any party “up the contract chain” once payment is owed to them....

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North Carolina Mechanics Lien Subcontractors Form

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North Carolina Mechanics Lien Statute FAQs

The provisions of the North Carolina statutes that permit the filing of mechanics liens and materialman’s liens can be found in North Carolina’s Construction Lien Law, § 44A:-7 et. seq. The full text of the North Carolina Construction Lien Law is provided below, and has been updated as of 2013.

Part 1. Liens of Mechanics, Laborers, and Materialmen Dealing With the Owner

§ 44-A7. Definitions

Unless the context otherwise requires in this Article:
(1) “Improve” means to build, effect, alter, repair, or demolish any improvement upon, connected with, or on or beneath the surface of any real property, or to excavate, clear, grade, fill or landscape any real property, or to construct driveways and private roadways, or to furnish materials, including trees and shrubbery, for any of such purposes, or to perform any labor upon such improvements, and shall also mean and include any design or other professional or skilled services furnished by architects, engineers, land surveyors and landscape architects registered under Chapter 83A, 89A or 89C of the General Statutes, and rental of equipment directly utilized on the real property in making the improvement.
(2) “Improvement” means all or any part of any building, structure, erection, alteration, demolition, excavation, clearing, grading, filling, or landscaping, including trees and shrubbery, driveways, and private roadways, on real property.
(3) An “owner” is a person who has an interest in the real property improved and for whom an improvement is made and who ordered the improvement to be made. “Owner” includes successors in interest of the owner and agents of the owner acting within their authority.
(4) “Real property” means the real estate that is improved, including lands, leaseholds, tenements and hereditaments, and improvements placed thereon.

§ 44-A8. Mechanics', Laborers', and Materialmen's Lien; Persons Entitled to Claim of Lien on Real Property

Any person who performs or furnishes labor or professional design or surveying services or furnishes materials or furnishes rental equipment pursuant to a contract, either express or implied, with the owner of real property for the making of an improvement thereon shall, upon complying with the provisions of this Article, have a right to file a claim of lien on real property on the real property to secure payment of all debts owing for labor done or professional design or surveying services or material furnished or equipment rented pursuant to the contract.

§ 44-A9. Extent of Claim of Lien on Real Property

A claim of lien on real property authorized under this Article shall extend to the improvement and to the lot or tract on which the improvement is situated, to the extent of the interest of the owner. When the lot or tract on which a building is erected is not surrounded at the time of making the contract with the owner by an enclosure separating it from adjoining land of the same owner, the lot or tract to which any claim of lien on real property extends shall be the area that is reasonably necessary for the convenient use and occupation of the building, but in no case shall the area include a building, structure, or improvement not normally used or occupied or intended to be used or occupied with the building with respect to which the claim of lien on real property is claimed.

§ 44-A10. Effective Date of Claim of Lien on Real Property

Liens for the following improvements shall attach to real property only in the manner herein prescribed. In the case of an improvement:
A claim of lien on real property granted by this Article shall relate to and take effect from the time of the first furnishing of labor or materials at the site of the improvement by the person claiming the claim of lien on real property.

§ 44-A11. Perfecting Claim of Lien on Real Property

A claim of lien on real property granted by this Article shall be perfected as of the time provided in G.S. 44A-10 upon the filing of the claim of lien on real property under G.S. 44A-12 and may be enforced pursuant to G.S. 44A-13.

§ 44-A11.1. Lien Agent; Designation and Duties

(a) With regard to any improvements to real property to which this Article is applicable for which the costs of the undertaking at the time that the original building permit is issued is thirty thousand dollars $ 30,000 or more, the owner shall designate a lien agent no later than the time the owner first contracts with any person to improve the real property. Provided, however, that the owner is not required to designate a lien agent for improvements to an existing single-family residential dwelling unit as defined in G.S. 87-15.5(7) that is used by the owner as a residence. The owner shall deliver written notice of designation to its designated lien agent by any method authorized in G.S. 44A-11.2(f), and shall include in its notice the street address, tax map lot and block number, reference to recorded instrument, or any other description that reasonably identifies the real property for the improvements to which the lien agent has been designated. Designation of a lien agent pursuant to this section does not make the lien agent an agent of the owner for purposes of receiving a Notice of Claim of Lien upon Funds or for any purpose other than the receipt of notices to the lien agent required under G.S. 44A-11.2.
(b) The lien agent shall be chosen from among the list of registered lien agents maintained by the Department of Insurance pursuant to G.S. 58-26-45.
(c) Upon receipt of written notification of designation by an owner pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the lien agent shall have the duties as set forth in G.S. 58-26-45(b).
(d) In the event that the lien agent revokes its consent to serve as lien agent or is removed by the owner, or otherwise becomes unable or unwilling to serve before the completion of all improvements to the real property, the owner shall within three business days of notice of such event do all of the following:

(1) Designate a successor lien agent and provide written notice of designation to the successor lien agent pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(2) Provide the contact information for the successor lien agent to the inspection department that issued any required building permit and to any persons who requested information from the owner relating to the predecessor lien agent.

(3) Display the contact information for the successor lien agent on the building permit or attachment thereto posted on the improved property or, if no building permit was required, on a sign complying with G.S. 44A-11.2(e).

(e) Until such time as the owner has fully complied with subsection (d) of this section, notice transmitted to the predecessor lien agent shall be deemed effective notice, notwithstanding the fact that the lien agent may have resigned or otherwise become unable or unwilling to serve.
(f) Any attorney who, in connection with a transaction involving improved real property subject to this section for which the attorney is serving as the closing attorney, contacts the lien agent and requests copies of the notices received by the lien agent relating to the real property not more than five business days prior to the date of recordation of a deed or deed of trust on the real property, shall be deemed to have fulfilled the attorney’s professional obligation as closing attorney to check such notices to lien agent and shall have no further duty to request that the lien agent provide information pertaining to notices received subsequently by the lien agent.

§ 44-A11.2. Identification of Lien Agent; Notice to Lien Agent; Effect of Notice

(a) As used in this section, the term “contact information” shall mean the name, physical and mailing address, telephone number, facsimile number, and electronic mail address of the lien agent designated by the owner pursuant to G.S. 44A-11.1.
(b) Within seven days of receiving a written request by a potential lien claimant by any delivery method specified in subsection (f) of this section, the owner shall provide a notice to the potential lien claimant containing the contact information for the lien agent, by the same delivery method used by the potential lien claimant in making the request. A potential lien claimant making a request pursuant to this subsection who has not furnished labor at the site of the improvements, or who did so prior to the posting of the contact information for the lien agent pursuant to subsection (d) or (e) of this section, shall have no obligation to give notice to the lien agent under this section until the potential lien claimant has received the contact information from the owner.
(c) A contractor or subcontractor for improvements to real property subject to G.S. 44A-11.1 shall, within three business days of contracting with a lower-tier subcontractor who is not required to furnish labor at the site of the improvements, provide the lower-tier subcontractor with a written notice containing the contact information for the lien agent designated by the owner. This notice shall be given pursuant to subsection (f) of this section or may be given by including the lien agent contact information in a written subcontract entered into by, or a written purchase order issued to, the lower-tier subcontractor entitled to the notice required by this subsection. Any contractor or subcontractor who has previously received notice of the lien agent contact information, whether from the building permit, the inspections office, a notice from the owner, contractor, or subcontractor, or by any other means, and who fails to provide the lien agent contact information to the lower-tier subcontractor in the time required under this subsection, shall be liable to the lower-tier subcontractor for any actual damages incurred by the lower-tier subcontractor as a result of the failure to give notice.
(d) For any improvement to real property subject to G.S. 44A-11.1, any building permit issued pursuant to G.S. 160A-417(d) or G.S. 153A-357(e) shall be conspicuously and continuously posted on the property for which the permit is issued until the completion of all construction.
(e) For any improvement to real property subject to G.S. 44A-11.1, a sign disclosing the contact information for the lien agent shall be conspicuously and continuously posted on the property until the completion of all construction if the contact information for the lien agent is not contained in a building permit or attachment thereto posted on the property.
(f) In complying with any requirement for written notice pursuant to this section, the notice shall be addressed to the person required to be provided with the notice and shall be delivered by any of the following methods:

(1) Certified mail, return receipt requested.

(2) Signature confirmation as provided by the United States Postal Service.

(3) Physical delivery and obtaining a delivery receipt from the lien agent.

(4) Facsimile with a facsimile confirmation.

(5) Depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2).

(6) Electronic mail, with delivery receipt.

As used in this subsection, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile confirmation. A return receipt or other receipt showing delivery of the notice to the addressee or written evidence that such notice was delivered by the postal service or other carrier to but not accepted by the addressee shall be prima facie evidence of receipt.

(g) When a lien agent is identified in a contract for improvements to real property consisting of a single-family residence entered into between an owner and a contractor for the improvements to the property, the contractor will be deemed to have met the requirement of notice under subsections ( l ) and (m) of this section on the date of the lien agent’s receipt of the owner’s notice of designation. The owner shall provide written notice to the lien agent containing the information pertaining to the contractor required in a notice to lien agent pursuant to subdivisions (1) through (3) of subsection (i) of this section, by any method of delivery authorized in G.S. 44A-11.2(f). The lien agent shall include the contractor in its response to any persons requesting information relating to persons who have given notice to the lien agent pursuant to this section.
(h) When a lien agent is not identified in a contract for improvements to real property subject to G.S. 44A-11.1 entered into between an owner and a design professional, the design professional will be deemed to have met the requirement of notice under subsections ( l ) and (m) of this section on the date of the lien agent’s receipt of the owner’s designation of the lien agent. The owner shall provide written notice to the lien agent containing the information pertaining to the design professional required in a notice to lien agent pursuant to subdivisions (1) through (3) of subsection (i) of this section, by any method of delivery authorized in subsection (f) of this section. The lien agent shall include the design professional in its response to any persons requesting information relating to persons who have given notice to the lien agent pursuant to this section. For purposes of this subsection, the term “design professional” shall mean any architects, engineers, land surveyors, and landscape architects registered under Chapter 83A, 89A, or 89C of the General Statutes.
(i) The form of the notice to be given under this section shall be substantially as follows:

“NOTICE TO LIEN AGENT

(1) Potential lien claimant’s name, mailing address, telephone number,
fax number (if available), and electronic mailing address (if available):

(2) Name of the party with whom the potential lien claimant has
contracted to improve the real property described below:

(3) A description of the real property sufficient to identify the real
property, such as the name of the project, if applicable, the physical address
as shown on the building permit or notice received from the owner:

(4) I give notice of my right subsequently to pursue a claim of lien for
improvements to the real property described in this notice.

Dated:

Potential Lien Claimant”

(j) The service of the Notice to Lien Agent does not satisfy the service or filing requirements applicable to a Notice of Claim of Lien upon Funds under Part 2 of Article 2 of this Chapter.
(k) The notice to lien agent shall not be filed with the clerk of superior court. An inaccuracy in the description of the improved real property provided in the notice shall not bar a person from claiming a lien under this Article or otherwise perfecting or enforcing a claim of lien as provided in this Article, if the improved real property can otherwise reasonably be identified from the information contained in the notice.
l ) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a potential lien claimant may perfect a claim of lien on real property only if any of the following conditions is met:

(1) The lien agent identified in accordance with this section has received notice from the potential lien claimant no later than 15 days after the first furnishing of labor or materials by the potential lien claimant.

(2) Any of the following conditions is met:

a. The lien agent identified in accordance with this section has received notice from the potential lien claimant prior to the date of recordation of a conveyance of the property interest in the real property to a bona fide purchaser for value protected under G.S. 47-18 who is not an affiliate, relative, or insider of the owner.

b. The potential lien claimant has filed a claim of lien pursuant to G.S. 44A-12 prior to the recordation of a conveyance of the property interest in the real property to a bona fide purchaser for value protected under G.S. 47-18 who is not an affiliate, relative, or insider of the owner.

As used in this subdivision, the terms “affiliate,” “relative,” and “insider” shall have the meanings as set forth in G.S. 39-23.1.

(m) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the claim of lien on real property of a potential lien claimant that is not filed prior to the recordation of any mortgage or deed of trust shall be subordinate to the previously recorded mortgage or deed of trust unless any of the following conditions is met:

(1) The lien agent identified in accordance with this section has received notice from the potential lien claimant within 15 days after the first furnishing of labor or materials by the potential lien claimant.

(2) The lien agent identified in accordance with this section has received notice from the potential lien claimant prior to the date of recordation of the mortgage or deed of trust for the benefit of one who is not an affiliate, relative, or insider of the owner.

(n) With regard to an improvement to real property subject to G.S. 44A-11.1, a potential lien claimant shall not be required to comply with this section if the lien agent contact information is neither contained in the building permit or attachment thereto or sign posted on the improved property pursuant to subsection (d) or (e) of this section at the time when the potential lien claimant was furnishing labor at the site of the improvements, nor timely provided by the owner in response to a written request by the potential lien claimant made pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The lien rights of a potential lien claimant who is given erroneous information by the owner regarding the identity of the lien agent will not be extinguished under subsection ( l ) of this section nor subordinated under subsection (m) of this section.
(o) Except as provided in subsections ( l ) and (m) of this section, nothing contained in this section shall affect a claim of lien upon funds pursuant to G.S. 44A-18.
(p) A potential lien claimant may provide the notice to lien agent required under this section regardless of whether the improvements for which the potential lien claimant is responsible are contracted, started, in process, or completed at the time of submitting the notice.

§ 44-A12. Filing Claim of Lien on Real Property

(a) Place of Filing. — All claims of lien on real property must be filed in the office of the clerk of superior court in each county where the real property subject to the claim of lien on real property is located. The clerk of superior court shall note the claim of lien on real property on the judgment docket and index the same under the name of the record owner of the real property at the time the claim of lien on real property is filed. An additional copy of the claim of lien on real property may also be filed with any receiver, referee in bankruptcy or assignee for benefit of creditors who obtains legal authority over the real property.
(b) Time of Filing. — Claims of lien on real property may be filed at any time after the maturity of the obligation secured thereby but not later than 120 days after the last furnishing of labor or materials at the site of the improvement by the person claiming the lien.
(c) Contents of Claim of Lien on Real Property to Be Filed. — All claims of lien on real property must be filed using a form substantially as follows:
CLAIM OF LIEN ON REAL PROPERTY
(1) Name and address of the person claiming the claim of lien on real property:
(2) Name and address of the record owner of the real property claimed to be subject to the claim of lien on real property at the time the claim of lien on real property is filed:
(3) Description of the real property upon which the claim of lien on real property is claimed: (Street address, tax lot and block number, reference to recorded instrument, or any other description of real property is sufficient, whether or not it is specific, if it reasonably identifies what is described.)
(4) Name and address of the person with whom the claimant contracted for the furnishing of labor or materials:
(5) Date upon which labor or materials were first furnished upon said property by the claimant:
(5a) Date upon which labor or materials were last furnished upon said property by the claimant:
(6) General description of the labor performed or materials furnished and the amount claimed therefor:

__________________________
Lien Claimant

Filed this ____ day of ______, _____

________________________________________________________
Clerk of Superior Court
A general description of the labor performed or materials furnished is sufficient. It is not necessary for lien claimant to file an itemized list of materials or a detailed statement of labor performed.
(d) No Amendment of Claim of Lien on Real Property. — A claim of lien on real property may not be amended. A claim of lien on real property may be cancelled by a claimant or the claimant’s authorized agent or attorney and a new claim of lien on real property substituted therefor within the time herein provided for original filing.
(e) Notice of Assignment of Claim of Lien on Real Property. — When a claim of lien on real property has been filed, it may be assigned of record by the lien claimant in a writing filed with the clerk of superior court who shall note the assignment in the margin of the judgment docket containing the claim of lien on real property. Thereafter the assignee becomes the lien claimant of record.
(f) Waiver of Right to File, Serve, or Claim Liens as Consideration for Contract Against Public Policy. — An agreement to waive the right to file a claim of lien on real property granted under this Part, or an agreement to waive the right to serve a notice of claim of lien upon funds granted under Part 2 of this Article, which agreement is in anticipation of and in consideration for the awarding of any contract, either expressed or implied, for the making of an improvement upon real property under this Article is against public policy and is unenforceable. This section does not prohibit subordination or release of a lien granted under this Part or Part 2 of this Article.

§ 44-A12.1. No Docketing of Lien Unless Authorized by Statute

(a) The clerk of superior court shall not index, docket, or record a claim of lien on real property or other document purporting to claim or assert a lien on real property in such a way as to affect the title to any real property unless the document:

(1) Is offered for filing under this Article or another statute that provides for indexing and docketing of claims of lien on real property; and

(2) Appears on its face to contain all of the information required by the statute under which it is offered for filing.

(b) The clerk may accept, for filing only, any document that does not meet the criteria established for indexing, docketing, or recording under subsection (a) of this section. If the clerk does accept this document, the clerk shall inform the person offering the document that it will not be indexed, docketed, or recorded in any way as to affect the title to any real property.
(c) Any person who causes or attempts to cause a claim of lien on real property or other document to be filed, knowing that the filing is not authorized by statute, or with the intent that the filing is made for an improper purpose such as to hinder, harass, or otherwise wrongfully interfere with any person, shall be guilty of a Class I felony.
(d) A claim of lien on real property, a claim of lien on real property with a notice of claim of lien upon funds attached thereto, or other document purporting to claim or assert a lien on real property that is filed by an attorney licensed in the State of North Carolina and that otherwise complies with subsection (a) of this section shall not be rejected by the clerk of superior court for indexing, docketing, recording, or filing.

§ 44-A13. Action to Enforce Claim of Lien on Real Property

(a) Where and When Action Commenced. — An action to enforce a claim of lien on real property may be commenced in any county where venue is otherwise proper. No such action may be commenced later than 180 days after the last furnishing of labor or materials at the site of the improvement by the person claiming the claim of lien on real property. If the title to the real property against which the claim of lien on real property is asserted is by law vested in a receiver or is subject to the control of the bankruptcy court, the claim of lien on real property shall be enforced in accordance with the orders of the court having jurisdiction over said real property. The filing of a proof of claim with a receiver or in bankruptcy and the filing of a notice of lis pendens in each county where the real property subject to the claim of lien on real property is located within the time required by this section satisfies the requirement for the commencement of a civil action.
(b) Judgment. –A judgment enforcing a lien under this Article may be entered for the principal amount shown to be due, not exceeding the principal amount stated in the claim of lien enforced thereby. The judgment shall direct a sale of the real property subject to the lien thereby enforced.
(c) Notice of Action. –In order for the sale under G.S. 44A-14(a) to pass all title and interest of the owner to the purchaser good against all claims or interests recorded, filed or arising after the first furnishing of labor or materials at the site of the improvement by the person claiming the claim of lien on real property, a notice of lis pendens shall be filed in each county in which the real property subject to the claim of lien on real property is located except the county in which the action is commenced. The notice of lis pendens shall be filed within the time provided in subsection (a) of this section for the commencement of the action by the lien claimant. If neither an action nor a notice of lis pendens is filed in accordance with this section, the judgment entered in the action enforcing the claim of lien on real property shall not direct a sale of the real property subject to the claim of lien on real property enforced thereby nor be entitled to any priority under the provisions of G.S. 44A-14(a), but shall be entitled only to those priorities accorded by law to money judgments.

§ 44-A14. Sale of Property in Satisfaction of Judgment Enforcing Claim of Lien on Real Property or Upon Order Prior to Judgment; Distribution of Proceeds

(a) Execution Sale; Effect of Sale. — Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, sales under this Article and distribution of proceeds thereof shall be made in accordance with the execution sale provisions set out in G.S. 1-339.41 through 1-339.76. The sale of real property to satisfy a claim of lien on real property granted by this Article shall pass all title and interest of the owner to the purchaser, good against all claims or interests recorded, filed or arising after the first furnishing of labor or materials at the site of the improvement by the person claiming a lien.
(b) Sale of Property upon Order Prior to Judgment. — A resident judge of superior court in the district in which the action to enforce the claim of lien on real property is pending, a judge regularly holding the superior courts of the said district, any judge holding a session of superior court, either civil or criminal, in the said district, a special judge of superior court residing in the said district, or the chief judge of the district court in which the action to enforce the claim of lien on real property is pending, may, upon notice to all interested parties and after a hearing thereupon and upon a finding that a sale prior to judgment is necessary to prevent substantial waste, destruction, depreciation or other damage to said real property prior to the final determination of said action, order any real property against which a claim of lien on real property under this Article is asserted, sold in any manner determined by said judge to be commercially reasonable. The rights of all parties shall be transferred to the proceeds of the sale. Application for such order and further proceedings thereon may be heard in or out of session.

§ 44-A15. Attachment Available to Lien Claimant

In addition to other grounds for attachment, in all cases where the owner removes or attempts or threatens to remove an improvement from real property subject to a claim of lien on real property under this Article, without the written permission of the lien claimant or with the intent to deprive the lien claimant of his or her claim of lien on real property, the remedy of attachment of the property subject to the claim of lien on real property shall be available to the lien claimant or any other person.

§ 44-A16. Discharge of Record Claim of Lien on Real Property

Any claim of lien on real property filed under this Article may be discharged by any of the following methods:
(1) The lien claimant of record, the claimant’s agent or attorney, in the presence of the clerk of superior court may acknowledge the satisfaction of the claim of lien on real property indebtedness, whereupon the clerk of superior court shall forthwith make upon the record of such claim of lien on real property an entry of such acknowledgment of satisfaction, which shall be signed by the lien claimant of record, the claimant’s agent or attorney, and witnessed by the clerk of superior court.
(2) The owner may exhibit an instrument of satisfaction signed and acknowledged by the lien claimant of record which instrument states that the claim of lien on real property indebtedness has been paid or satisfied, whereupon the clerk of superior court shall cancel the claim of lien on real property by entry of satisfaction on the record of such claim of lien on real property.
(3) By failure to enforce the claim of lien on real property within the time prescribed in this Article.
(4) By filing in the office of the clerk of superior court the original or certified copy of a judgment or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction showing that the action by the claimant to enforce the claim of lien on real property has been dismissed or finally determined adversely to the claimant.
(5) Whenever a sum equal to the amount of the claim or claims of lien on real property claimed is deposited with the clerk of court, to be applied to the payment finally determined to be due, whereupon the clerk of superior court shall cancel the claim or claims of lien on real property or claims of lien on real property of record.
(6) Whenever a corporate surety bond, in a sum equal to one and one-fourth times the amount of the claim or claims of lien on real property claimed and conditioned upon the payment of the amount finally determined to be due in satisfaction of said claim or claims of lien on real property, is deposited with the clerk of court, whereupon the clerk of superior court shall cancel the claim or claims of lien on real property of record.

Part 2. Liens of Mechanics, Laborers, and Materialmen Dealing With One Other Than the Owner

§ 44-A17. Definitions

Unless the context otherwise requires in this Article: (1) “Contractor” means a person who contracts with an owner to improve real property. (2) “First tier subcontractor” means a person who contracts with a contractor to improve real property. (3) “Obligor” means an owner, contractor or subcontractor in any tier who owes money to another as a result of the other’s partial or total performance of a contract to improve real property. (4) “Second tier subcontractor” means a person who contracts with a first tier subcontractor to improve real property. (5) “Third tier subcontractor” means a person who contracts with a second tier subcontractor to improve real property.

§ 44-A18. Grant of Lien Upon Funds; Subrogation; Perfection

Upon compliance with this Article: (1) A first tier subcontractor who furnished labor, materials, or rental equipment at the site of the improvement shall be entitled to a lien upon funds that are owed to the contractor with whom the first tier subcontractor dealt and that arise out of the improvement on which the first tier subcontractor worked or furnished materials.
(2) A second tier subcontractor who furnished labor, materials, or rental equipment at the site of the improvement shall be entitled to a lien upon funds that are owed to the first tier subcontractor with whom the second tier subcontractor dealt and that arise out of the improvement on which the second tier subcontractor worked or furnished materials. A second tier subcontractor, to the extent of the second tier subcontractor’s lien provided in this subdivision, shall also be entitled to be subrogated to the lien of the first tier subcontractor with whom the second tier contractor dealt provided for in subdivision (1) of this section and shall be entitled to perfect it by notice of claim of lien upon funds to the extent of the claim.
(3) A third tier subcontractor who furnished labor, materials, or rental equipment at the site of the improvement shall be entitled to a lien upon funds that are owed to the second tier subcontractor with whom the third tier subcontractor dealt and that arise out of the improvement on which the third tier subcontractor worked or furnished materials. A third tier subcontractor, to the extent of the third tier subcontractor’s lien upon funds provided in this subdivision, shall also be entitled to be subrogated to the lien upon funds of the second tier subcontractor with whom the third tier contractor dealt and to the lien upon funds of the first tier subcontractor with whom the second tier subcontractor dealt to the extent that the second tier subcontractor is entitled to be subrogated thereto, and in either case shall be entitled to perfect the same by notice of claim of lien upon funds to the extent of the claim.
(4) Subcontractors more remote than the third tier who furnished labor, materials, or rental equipment at the site of the improvement shall be entitled to a lien upon funds that are owed to the person with whom they dealt and that arise out of the improvement on which they furnished labor, materials, or rental equipment, but such remote tier subcontractor shall not be entitled to subrogation to the rights of other persons.
(5) The liens upon funds granted under this section shall secure amounts earned by the lien claimant as a result of having furnished labor, materials, or rental equipment at the site of the improvement under the contract to improve real property, including interest at the legal rate provided in G.S. 24-5, whether or not such amounts are due and whether or not performance or delivery is complete. In the event insufficient funds are retained to satisfy all lien claimants, subcontractor lien claimants may recover the interest due under this subdivision on a pro rata basis, but in no event shall interest due under this subdivision increase the liability of the obligor under G.S. 44A-20.
(6) A lien upon funds granted under this section is perfected upon the giving of notice of claim of lien upon funds in writing to the obligor as provided in G.S. 44A-19 and shall be effective upon the obligor’s receipt of the notice. The subrogation rights of a first, second, or third tier subcontractor to the claim of lien on real property of the contractor created by Part 1 of Article 2 of this Chapter are perfected as provided in G.S. 44A-23.

§ 44-A19. Notice of Claim of Lien Upon Funds

(a) Notice of a claim of lien upon funds shall set forth all of the following information:
(1) The name and address of the person claiming the lien upon funds.
(2) A general description of the real property improved.
(3) The name and address of the person with whom the lien claimant contracted to improve real property.
(4) The name and address of each person against or through whom subrogation rights are claimed.
(5) A general description of the contract and the person against whose interest the lien upon funds is claimed.
(6) The amount of the lien upon funds claimed by the lien claimant under the contract.
(b) All notices of claims of liens upon funds by first, second, or third tier subcontractors must be given using a form substantially as follows:
NOTICE OF CLAIM OF LIEN UPON FUNDS BY
FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD TIER SUBCONTRACTOR
To:

1. _____________________________, owner of property involved.
(Name and address)

2. _____________________________, general contractor.
(Name and address)

3. _____________________________, first tier subcontractor against or through

(Name and address) whom subrogation is claimed, if any.

4. _____________________________, second tier subcontractor against or through

(Name and address) whom subrogation is claimed, if any.

General description of real property where labor performed or material furnished:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

General description of undersigned lien claimant’s contract including the names of the parties thereto: ___________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

The amount of lien upon funds claimed pursuant to the above described contract:

_________________________

The undersigned lien claimant gives this notice of claim of lien upon funds pursuant to North Carolina law and claims all rights of subrogation to which he is entitled under Part 2 of Article 2 of Chapter 44A of the General Statutes of North Carolina.

Dated __________

______________, Lien Claimant

__________________________

Address)
(c) All notices of claims of liens upon funds by subcontractors more remote than the third tier must be given using a form substantially as follows:
NOTICE OF CLAIM OF LIEN UPON FUNDS BY SUBCONTRACTOR
MORE REMOTE THAN THE THIRD TIER

To:

________________________, person holding funds against which lien upon funds is
(Name and Address)
claimed.
General description of real property where labor performed or material furnished:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________
General description of undersigned lien claimant’s contract including the names of the parties thereto: ___________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________
The amount of lien upon funds claimed pursuant to the above described contract: $ _________________________
The undersigned lien claimant gives this notice of claim of lien upon funds pursuant to North Carolina law and claims all rights to which he or she is entitled under Part 2 of Article 2 of Chapter 44A of the General Statutes of North Carolina.
Dated: __________

______________, Lien Claimant

__________________________
(Address)
(d) Notices of claims of lien upon funds under this section shall be served upon the obligor by personal delivery or in any manner authorized by Rule 4 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. A copy of the notice of claim of lien upon funds shall be attached to any claim of lien on real property filed pursuant to G.S. 44A-20(d) or G.S. 44A-23.
(e) Notices of claims of lien upon funds shall not be filed with the clerk of superior court and shall not be indexed, docketed, or recorded in any way as to affect title to any real property, except a notice of a claim of lien upon funds may be filed with the clerk of superior court under either of the following circumstances:
(1) When the notice of claim of lien upon funds is attached to a claim of lien on real property filed pursuant to G.S. 44A-20(d) or G.S. 44A-23.
(2) When the notice of claim of lien upon funds is filed by the obligor for the purpose of discharging the claim of lien upon funds in accordance with G.S. 44A-20(e).
(f) Filing a notice of claim of lien upon funds pursuant to subsection (e) of this section is not a violation of G.S. 44A-12.1.

§ 44-A20. Duties and Liability of Obligor

(a) Upon receipt of the notice of claim of lien upon funds provided for in this Article, the obligor shall be under a duty to retain any funds subject to the lien or liens upon funds under this Article up to the total amount of such liens upon funds as to which notices of claims of lien upon funds have been received.
(b) If, after the receipt of the notice of claim of lien upon funds to the obligor, the obligor makes further payments to a contractor or subcontractor against whose interest the lien or liens upon funds are claimed, the lien upon funds shall continue upon the funds in the hands of the contractor or subcontractor who received the payment, and in addition the obligor shall be personally liable to the person or persons entitled to liens upon funds up to the amount of such wrongful payments, not exceeding the total claims with respect to which the notice of claim of lien upon funds was received prior to payment.
(c) If an obligor makes a payment after receipt of notice of claim of lien on funds and incurs personal liability under subsection (b) of this section, the obligor shall be entitled to reimbursement and indemnification from the party receiving such payment.
(d) If the obligor is an owner of the property being improved, the lien claimant shall be entitled to a claim of lien upon real property upon the interest of the obligor in the real property to the extent of the owner’s personal liability under subsection (b) of this section, which claim of lien on real property shall be enforced only in the manner set forth in G.S. 44A-7 through G.S. 44A-16 and which claim of lien on real property shall be entitled to the same priorities and subject to the same filing requirements and periods of limitation applicable to the contractor. The claim of lien on real property is perfected as of the time set forth in G.S. 44A-10 upon the filing of the claim of lien on real property pursuant to G.S. 44A-12. The claim of lien on real property shall be in the form set out in G.S. 44A-12(c) and shall contain, in addition, a copy of the notice of claim of lien upon funds given pursuant to G.S. 44A-19 as an exhibit together with proof of service thereof by affidavit, and shall state the grounds the lien claimant has to believe that the obligor is personally liable for the debt under subsection (b) of this section.
(e) A notice of claim of lien upon funds under G.S. 44A-19 may be filed by the obligor with the clerk of superior court in each county where the real property upon which the filed notice of claim of lien upon funds is located for the purpose of discharging the notice of claim of lien upon funds by any of the methods described in G.S. 44A-16.
(f) A bond deposited under this section to discharge a filed notice of claim of lien upon funds shall be effective to discharge any claim of lien on real property filed by the same lien claimant pursuant to subsection (d) of this section or G.S. 44A-23 and shall further be effective to discharge any notices of claims of lien upon funds served by lower tier subcontractors or any claims of lien on real property filed by lower tier subcontractors pursuant to subsection (d) of this section or G.S. 44A-23 claiming through or against the contractor or higher tier subcontractors up to the amount of the bond.

§ 44-A21. Pro Rata Payments

(a) Where the obligor is a contractor or subcontractor and the funds in the hands of the obligor and the obligor’s personal liability, if any, under G.S. 44A-20 are less than the amount of valid liens upon funds that have been received by the obligor under this Article, the parties entitled to liens upon funds shall share the funds on a pro rata basis.
(b) Where the obligor is an owner and the funds in the hands of the obligor and the obligor’s personal liability, if any, under G.S. 44A-20 are less than the sum of the amount of valid claims of liens upon funds that have been received by the obligor under this Article and the amount of the valid claims of liens on real property upon the owner’s property filed by the subcontractors with the clerk of superior court under G.S. 44A-23, the parties entitled to liens upon funds and the parties entitled to subrogation claims of liens on real property upon the owner’s property shall share the funds on a pro rata basis.

§ 44-A22. Priority of Liens Upon Funds

Liens upon funds perfected under this Article have priority over all other interests or claims theretofore or thereafter created or suffered in the funds by the person against whose interest the lien upon funds is asserted, including, but not limited to, liens arising from garnishment, attachment, levy, judgment, assignments, security interests, and any other type of transfer, whether voluntary or involuntary. Any person who receives payment from an obligor in bad faith with knowledge of a lien upon funds shall take such payment subject to the lien upon funds.

§ 44-A23. Contractor's Claim of Lien on Real Property; Perfection of Subrogation Rights of Subcontractors

(a) First tier subcontractor. —  A first tier subcontractor may, to the extent of its claim, enforce the claim of lien on real property of the contractor created by Part 1 of this Article. The manner of such enforcement shall be as provided by G.S. 44A-7 through 44A-16. The claim of lien on real property is perfected as of the time set forth in G.S. 44A-10 upon filing of the claim of lien on real property pursuant to G.S. 44A-12. When completing the claim of lien on real property form, the subcontractor may use as the date upon which labor or materials were first or last furnished on the real property either the date of the first or last furnishing of labor or materials on the real property by the subcontractor making the claim or the date of the first or last furnishing of labor or materials on the real property by the contractor through which the claim of lien on real property is being asserted.(a1) No action of the contractor shall be effective to prejudice the rights of the subcontractor without his written consent, upon the occurrence of all of the following:
(1) The subcontractor has given notice to the lien agent, if any, designated by the owner, pursuant to G.S. 44A-11.2.

(2) The subcontractor has served a notice of claim of lien upon funds upon the owner pursuant to G.S. 44A-19(d).

(3) The subcontractor has delivered a copy of the notice of claim of lien upon funds served upon the owner to the lien agent, if any, designated by the owner, by any method authorized in G.S. 44A-11.2(f).
(b) Second or third tier subcontractor. —
(1) A second or third tier subcontractor may, to the extent of his claim, enforce the claim of lien on real property of the contractor created by Part 1 of Article 2 of the Chapter except when:
a. The owner or contractor, within 30 days following the date the permit is issued for the improvement of the real property involved or within 30 days following the date the contractor is awarded the contract for the improvement of the real property involved, whichever is later, posts on the property in a visible location adjacent to the posted permit, if a permit is required, and files in the office of the clerk of superior court in each county wherein the real property to be improved is located, a completed and signed notice of contract form and the second or third tier subcontractor fails to serve upon the contractor a completed and signed notice of subcontract form by the same means of service as described in G.S. 44A-19(d); or
b. After the posting and filing of a signed notice of contract and the service upon the contractor of a signed notice of subcontract, the contractor serves upon the second or third tier subcontractor, within five days following each subsequent payment, by the same means of service as described in G.S. 44A-19(d), the written notice of payment setting forth the date of payment and the period for which payment is made as requested in the notice of subcontract form set forth herein.
(2) The form of the notice of contract to be so utilized under this section shall be substantially as follows and the fee for filing the same with the clerk of superior court shall be the same as charged for filing a claim of lien on real property:

“NOTICE OF CONTRACT

“(1) Name and address of the Contractor:

“(2) Name and address of the owner of the real property at the time this
Notice of Contract is recorded:

“(3) General description of the real property to be improved (street
address, tax map lot and block number, reference to recorded instrument,
or any other description that reasonably identifies the real property):

“(4) Name and address of the person, firm or corporation filing this
Notice of Contract:

“Dated:

“Contractor

“Filed this the      day of         ,     .

Clerk of Superior Court”

(3) The form of the notice of subcontract to be so utilized under this
section shall be substantially as follows:

“NOTICE OF SUBCONTRACT

“(1) Name and address of the subcontractor:

“(2) General description of the real property on which the labor was
performed or the material was furnished (street address, tax map lot and block
number, reference to recorded instrument, or any description that reasonably
identifies the real property):

“(3)

“(i) General description of the subcontractor’s contract,
including the names of the parties thereto:

“(ii) General description of the labor and material performed and
furnished thereunder:

“(4) Request is hereby made by the undersigned subcontractor that he be
notified in writing by the contractor of, and within five days following, each
subsequent payment by the contractor to the first tier subcontractor for labor
performed or material furnished at the improved real property within the above
descriptions of such in paragraph (2) and subparagraph (3)(ii), respectively,
the date payment was made and the period for which payment is made.

“Dated:

Subcontractor”

(4) The manner of such enforcement shall be as provided by G.S. 44A-7 through G.S. 44A-16. The lien is perfected as of the time set forth in G.S. 44A-10 upon the filing of a claim of lien on real property pursuant to G.S. 44A-12.
(5) No action of the contractor shall be effective to prejudice the rights of the second or third tier subcontractor without his written consent, upon the occurrence of all of the following:
a.  The second or third tier subcontractor has given notice to the lien agent, if any, designated by the owner, pursuant to G.S. 44A-11.2.
b. The second or third tier subcontractor has served a notice of claim of lien upon funds upon the owner pursuant to G.S. 44A-19(d).
c. The second or third tier subcontractor has delivered a copy of the notice of claim of lien upon funds served upon the owner to the lien agent, if any, designated by the owner, by any method authorized in G.S. 44A-11.2(f).
(c) A lien waiver signed by the contractor before the occurrence of all of the actions specified in subsection (a1) and subdivision (5) of subsection (b) of this section waives the subcontractor’s right to enforce the contractor’s claim of lien on real property, but does not affect the subcontractor’s right to a claim of lien on funds or the subcontractor’s right to a claim of lien on real property allowed under G.S. 44A-20(d).

Part 3. Criminal Sanctions for Furnishing a False Statement in Connection With Improvement to Real Property

§ 44-A24. False Statement a Misdemeanor

If any contractor or other person receiving payment from an obligor for an improvement to real property or from a purchaser for a conveyance of real property with improvements shall knowingly furnish to such obligor, purchaser, or to a lender who obtains a security interest in said real property, or to a title insurance company insuring title to such real property, a false written statement of the sums due or claimed to be due for labor or material furnished at the site of improvements to such real property, then such contractor, subcontractor or other person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Upon conviction and in the event the court shall grant any defendant a suspended sentence, the court may in its discretion include as a condition of such suspension a provision that the defendant shall reimburse the party who suffered loss on such conditions as the court shall determine are proper.
The elements of the offense herein stated are the furnishing of the false written statement with knowledge that it is false and the subsequent or simultaneous receipt of payment from an obligor or purchaser, and in any prosecution hereunder it shall not be necessary for the State to prove that the obligor, purchaser, lender or title insurance company relied upon the false statement or that any person was injured thereby.

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