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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I filed a mechanic lien$4,000 and i was mechanical subcontractor it will expire November 10, 2018 is there a way to extend the lien without filing lawsuit. If i sue will it be in small claims?

I filed a mechanic lien$4,000 and i was mechanical subcontractor it will expire November 10, 2018 is there a way to extend the lien without filing lawsuit. If i sue will it be in small claims?

North CarolinaLawsuitLien Foreclosure

ELECTRICAL contractor wired house invoiced $6500 got $2500.00 deposit from GC. Finish job with final inspection in April and bunch of changes by owner showing up with light fixtures and changeorders then GC refuse to pay $4000.00 owed. Owner says my contract is with GC. Lien the property. Lien expire Nov.10 ,2018. Whats your recommendation?

1 reply

Oct 31, 2018
All mechanics liens, no matter the state in which the project occurred, expire and become unenforceable at some point if an enforcement action is not initiated. In North Carolina, an action to enforce a mechanics lien against real property must be initiated within 180 days after the date of last furnishing labor or materials to the project. This means that, potentially, a lien claimant could only have 60 days from the filing of the lien until an action to enforce it must be initiated. It's also important to note that the foreclosure action itself must meet all the technical requirements of the lien laws, as demonstrated by a recent case that invalidated a mechanics lien because, since a property was sold and ownership changed, the parties were not properly named in the foreclosure action.

North Carolina provides no specific mechanism to extend a mechanics lien claim, an enforcement action must be initiated within the appropriate time period or the lien will expire. The enforcement of a mechanics lien is a foreclosure lawsuit. Just like a mortgage holder may foreclose on and force the sale of a property, a mechanics lien holder can do the same. Since the potential result of a mechanics lien enforcement action is the forced sale of property, this is a full-blown real-deal lawsuit, and is not appropriate for small claims court. While it is technically allowable for an individual lien claimant to represent him/herself in court, that is almost never a good idea. And, a business lien claimant is prohibited from representing itself in court and is required to enlist the assistance of an attorney.

While enlisting an attorney is a good next step, more information can be found in North Carolina mechanics lien law, specifically §§ 44-A13 - A14.
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