I have registered the Lien. Obviously nothing has happened and our customer still hasn't paid us.
How can you help us now?
Jul 9, 2019
I'm sorry to hear that you had to file a lien and that your lien hasn't led to payment. Before diving in, I should note that I'm not able to advise you on how you should proceed - every situation and every claimant is different. However, I can provide some information that should be helpful moving forward.
Moving on - when construction work has been performed but not paid for, mechanics liens are typically the most powerful tool for payment recovery. That being said, mechanics lien claims don't lead to payment in every instance - and sometimes it takes a little bit more to recover payment.
Once a mechanics lien has been filed, the next official step in the claim process might be considered enforcing the filed lien. We'll touch on that more below, but adding a step here can help with recovery.
Before deciding to enforce a filed mechanics lien, it's generally a good idea to try and negotiate payment with the property owner and/or the customer. Chances are, they want the lien claim gone and don't want to undertake a lawsuit to sort out the dispute. The deadline to enforce a Florida mechanics lien claim is a full year (unless it's been shortened by the owner's actions - more on that here) after the lien claim is filed - and that provides a lot of time to negotiate payment before having to move forward with a lien enforcement lawsuit. So, during that time, it's generally a good idea to try and resolve the payment dispute - and most claimants are able to do so.
But, because the Florida lien enforcement deadline is such a long way out - there might not be a great sense of urgency from a property owner or a customer. By sending a warning that the lien will be enforced - like a Notice of Intent to Foreclose - a lien claimant can try and escalate the dispute by raising the stakes. When a document like a Notice of Intent to Foreclose is sent, it shows the owner and/or customer that nonpayment won't be stood for, and that the lien claimant isn't afraid to move forward with a lawsuit on the lien. Often, by showing that there's a potential foreclosure on the horizon, lien claimants can be taken more seriously and can achieve payment.
Finally, while the majority of mechanics liens are resolved without the need for legal action, it's worth noting that a claimant may ultimately have to file a lawsuit to enforce their mechanics lien claim if they remain unpaid. It's certainly not the number 1 option available, but if push comes to shove, that might become necessary to obtain payment. More on that here: What Is “Enforcing” a Mechanics Lien?