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How long do I have to file a lien? See situation/more questions below.

MinnesotaLien WaiversMechanics Lien

How long do I have to file a mechanic's lien on the property? What county: where work performed, or my business? What if partial payment was made, but balance due is not being paid? Deceased husband unable to finish project.

2 replies

Nov 30, 2020
Just call in if the project is in the Twin Cities. Need more information to advise. Pre-lien needed maybe? File lien within 120 days of last efforts on job. But you can always sue for the money owed even if you cannot lien it. A lien has to be foreclosed upon within one year and that gets expensive and sometimes there is no equity.
Nov 30, 2020

There's a lot to unpack here, so let's take it one issue at a time.

Minnesota preliminary notice requirements

In Minnesota, in order to have the right to file a mechanics lien there may be some preliminary notice requirements. For general contractors (direct contractors who hired subs or suppliers on the project) there must be specific notice language contained within the contract or provided within 10 days after agreeing to perform the work. For all other project participants (subs, suppliers, equipment lessors), a preliminary notice must be provided within 45 days of first furnishing labor and/or materials to the project. 

If these notice requirements haven't been met, then the claimant loses their right to file a mechanics lien. If this is the case, check out this article for other options to recover payment: Can't File a Lien? Here Are Some Other Options 

Lien filing deadlines in Minnesota

If the claimant has met the notice requirements, then the deadline to file a mechanics lien in MN is 120 days from the last date of furnishing labor and/or materials to the project. This is a hard deadline, if the claim isn't filed within this timeframe, then lien rights are lost. 

Where to file a MN mechanics lien

Lien claims are required to be filed in the county recorder's office where the project/property was located. Click here for a full list of all MN county recorder's offices

Amount to be claimed

The amount that can be claimed under a MN mechanics lien shouldn't exceed the contract price and any approved change orders. If partial payments have been made and/or lien waivers have been signed, then those amounts should be deducted. 

For a full breakdown of the process, see: How to File a Mechanics Lien in Minnesota | A Step-by-Step Guide; or you can file the claim directly through the Levelset platform

Hope this helps! Good luck!


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