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Am I able to file lien or what actions should take place.

ArizonaLien DeadlinesMechanics LienPreliminary NoticeRecovery OptionsRight to Lien

04/17/2017 - Remodel pool remodel work began - totallying $15,725 4/20/2017 - Payment received 1/2 of balance - $7862.50 5/22/2017 - Payment received $3931 via check 5/2017 - Check payment cancelled Client not satisfied with work. invoices sent, no resolution, no additional payments made. 6/2019, client filed complaint with az ROC, two small items (less than one day of work), were noted to be completed, 6/2019. Work completed per ROC request and complaint closed (job complete). No additional payments made to date (current balance owed $7889.50), sent statements, and invoices. 6/17/2019, sent "notice of intent to lien" Any additional guidance is appreciated. Thank you

1 reply

Jun 19, 2019
I'm sorry to hear you've been having trouble getting paid for this job - everyone should be paid what they've earned, and no one should have to jump through hoops to force payment. While I'm not able to advise you on how to proceed or whether your claim would be successful - I can provide some insight into the Arizona rules for filing mechanics liens. Let's take a look at some of Arizona's mechanics lien requirements and deadlines.

First, in order to preserve the right to file a mechanics lien in Arizona, every construction business must send a preliminary notice. This notice must be sent within 20 days of first furnishing labor and materials. It can be sent late, but if an Arizona preliminary notice is sent late, it will only protect the right to lien for the work done during the 20 days immediately before sending notice, and then the work that's performed after notice is sent. But, if the notice is not sent or if it's sent too late, a claimant could completely lose their right to file a lien. You can learn more about AZ preliminary notices here: About Arizona Preliminary 20-Day Notices.

Arizona mechanics liens also have very strict filing deadlines. In Arizona, a mechanics lien must be filed within 120 days of the completion of the improvement (though this timeframe can be shortened even further with the filing of a Notice of Completion). And, if this deadline passes, a valid mechanics lien cannot be filed.

As you may know, even in a situation where it might be untimely to file a mechanics lien, and when notice requirements might not have been followed, sending a warning or threat of lien - like the Notice of Intent to Lien you'd mentioned - can help lead to payment. But, sending a Notice of Intent to Lien doesn't work to actually preserve or flex any lien right in Arizona - it's more like an official warning letter.

It's also worth noting that a mechanics lien is just one tool for recovery, and making claims like a prompt payment claim, breach of contract claim, or a claim for payment under some other legal theory might be helpful in recovering payment. Further, merely threatening a legal claim (like threatening a lien claim) could help get payment talks moving, particularly when done via an attorney. But, considering the timetables and the amount outstanding, it might be helpful to first reach out to a local construction attorney to assess the situation and determine how best to proceed.

For more information on Arizona lien and notice requirements, this resource will be valuable: Arizona Lien and Notice Overview, FAQs, and Statutes.
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