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How quickly are we added to the court docket if we file lawsuit to Enforce Lien

OregonLawsuitLien DeadlinesLien ForeclosureMechanics Lien

Lien was filed 3/5/19 and we have to file our lawsuit by 6/26/19 or our lien expires. We want to file to enforce but don't want to be placed on the docket immediately. If we file the lawsuit, can we petition the court to delay our hearing? What we really are looking for in this case is time for the property to sell so we can be paid out of escrow. We aren't actually looking to foreclose quickly.

1 reply

Jun 6, 2019
That's an interesting question. First, let's look at postponing proceedings since that gets to the heart of your question. But then, I'll explain why it might be unnecessary to jump through legal hoops to put off a lien enforcement.

Lien Enforcement Timeline
It's worth noting that the court system takes time - so any time suit is filed, the actual proceedings for that action often won't begin for weeks or even months, in some cases. Further, where a lien claimant and the property owner both wish to put off a legal dispute, but where the lien enforcement deadline is closing in, a lien claimant can always move to stay the proceedings after an action has been filed. Where the claimant and the owner both want to postpone proceedings in goal of resolving a dispute outside of the courtroom, judges are often more than willing to let the parties resolve their own differences.

Extending an Oregon Lien Enforcement Deadline
However, it's also worth noting that the above may be unnecessary. Oregon is one of very few states that allows for the mechanics lien enforcement deadline to be extended. In Oregon, a mechanics lien can be extended in periods of 120 days for quite some time - this can be done repeatedly for a period of up to 2 years from the date when the lien was filed. Of course, in order to extend the mechanics lien, there must be a payment plan in place between the parties to pay for the debt - and those terms must be stated in the lien claim itself. Though, even if a lien was filed without those payment terms, if a claimant wanted to extend their already-filed lien, it might be possible to amend the lien claim to include the payment terms if the deadline to file the mechancis lien has not yet passed.

Regardless - one way or another, it should be possible to postpone the litigation of a mechanics lien (though an enforcement action may still need to be filed before the deadline). For a recommendation on how best to do that, it would be wise to consult a local construction or real estate attorney and asking for their advice on how best to proceed. They'll be able to review all documentation and communication regarding the matter and come up with a plan for moving forward.

For more background on Oregon's lien laws, this resource will be valuable: Oregon Lien and Notice Overview, FAQs, and Statutes.
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