The General Contractor went out of business in the middle of a project that we were sub contracted on and they have not paid us $9k of work we have done.
Sep 25, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that - when a contractor goes under during a job, getting things back on track can be an absolute nightmare. As mentioned above, Tennessee does require that subs, suppliers, and other down the chain parties provide preliminary notice in order to preserve lien rights - so it's good that preliminary notice was sent. Before deciding on whether or not to immediately file a lien, it's usually a good idea to take a look at the deadline to file. If that deadline is far away, it might be fruitful to negotiate payment and/or utilize a demand like a Notice of Intent to Lien - which acts as a lien warning. If neither is effective, then a claimant will still have the right to lien (as long as deadlines are adhered to). As for the deadline to file a lien, a Tennessee subcontractor or supplier will have 90 days from the completion or abandonment of the project. However, if the owner files and serves a Notice of Completion, this time frame will be shortened to 30 days from the completion or abandonment of the project. Note, of course, these are only deadlines - and a lien claimant can file their lien well in advance of this time frame. If you have any other questions about Tennessee liens, feel free to ask another question here at the Construction Legal Center, or check out zlien's Tennessee Lien and Notice FAQ. Finally, if the contractor has filed for bankruptcy, the following article may be helpful: Mechanics Liens Protect Against Bankruptcy Up-the-Chain