wrote the wrong termination date on the lien, since i wrote it as 10/12/2018 and not 11/12/2018 which is the actual termination date - does this make the lien un-perfected? does it make it a fraudulent lien if it was a simple typo?
Feb 8, 2019
That's a great question, and this is a topic we cover a lot at the Construction Legal Center as well as the Construction Payment Blog. Generally, there's a difference between an honest mistake and a discrepancy that will rise to the level of fraud. zlien discusses this idea here: Frivolous Mechanics Liens: Intentionally Fraudulent vs. Honest Mistakes. As mentioned in that article, when a minor error is made on a mechanics lien form and the form was filled out in good faith (i.e. the misrepresentation on the lien form was made accidentally and without the intent to benefit from the discrepancy), generally, errors on a lien claim won't rise to the level of fraud. However, such an error could certainly invalidate a filed mechanics lien and leave it unenforceable. The difference being, when a lien is invalidated due to mistake, the lien claimant will typically not be opened up to the type of liability that arises with fraudulent lien claims. Note, of course, that where there's a minor error on a lien claim - (1) such an error, by itself, it might not invalidate the claim. That call would ultimately be up to a court (if the issue got that far - and lien claims typically don't); and (2) if the deadline to file the original mechanics lien has not yet passed, a claimant could potentially try to amend their filed lien claim, or file a corrected lien claim and release the originally filed lien. Of course, in order to be sure whether such a change would even be necessary, it might be helpful to consult with a local construction attorney - they'll be able to review the documentation and advise on how to proceed.