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Do I file the lien on the GC or the project owner?

LouisianaMechanics Lien

I'm a subcontractor who has completed a job for GC. The GC says he hasn't been paid by the customer so won't pay me. I did not sign the contract the GS sent me because it had a clause saying the GC wouldn't pay until paid by the owner. My question is who do I file the lien on? The GC or the project owner. Do I name a specific person or use the company name?

1 reply

Dec 28, 2018
That's an interesting question, and it cuts to the core of how mechanics liens work. While nonpayment may or may not be the fault of the owner - when a mechanics lien is filed, the lien attaches to the underlying project property. Thus, even in a situation where a GC has failed to pay their subcontractor, when the subcontractor files a lien claim, the owner's interest is put in jeopardy. The GC isn't just released from liability - they're still on the hook for payment, but the owner is also put under pressure. zlien discusses how this can help lead to payment in this article, among other topics: 17 Ways Mechanics Liens Lead to Payment. Further, this article may also be of use: How to File a Louisiana Mechanics Lien. Finally, keep in mind that when payment is owed, often, the mere threat of lien will be enough to compel payment due to the drastic nature of mechanics liens. Considering the headache and expense of a lien filing, many claimants find it worthwhile to attempt to recover via a Notice of Intent to Lien before actually resorting to a lien filing. Plus, providing additional notice can help to keep relationships intact. You can learn about that here: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien?
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