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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>In Florida, more than 90 days after providing services may a lien holder amend their claim of lien to show partial payment without invalidating the original claim?

In Florida, more than 90 days after providing services may a lien holder amend their claim of lien to show partial payment without invalidating the original claim?

FloridaLien Releases

A subcontractor has received partial payment of the lien amount and we need to now if they can amend their lien claim under Florida law.

1 reply

Aug 6, 2019
Modifying already filed liens is a tricky and dangerous business, and one that should generally be avoided absent specific statutory direction that allows for the reduction of amount claimed due by a lien at any time.

Florida's statutes contemplate partial waiver of liens during the project, pursuant to progress payments, and prior to the lien filing - but does not specifically allow for a previously filed lien to be modified. This is fairly standard, most states only consider a lien being cancelled upon full-time payment of the amount due (or expiration of the time to initiate an enforcement action).

Florida statutes discuss the "discharge" of a lien as an all or nothing proposition. Whether a partial discharge may be filed, and what effect it would have (if any), is a different and difficult question. Generally, when partial payment is received after a lien has been filed there are three distinct options:
1. Do Nothing and Leave the Mechanics Lien in Place As-Is 2. (Attempt to) File a Partial Release/Satisfaction of Lien 3. (Attempt to) Amend the Existing Lien to Reflect the New Total Lien Amount

The three options above are set forth in order from safest to potentially most dangerous. While all options have some trade-offs that must be considered, attempting to amend a previously filed lien outside of the time period in which it could have been originally filed is dangerous and can result in the lien being extinguished as untimely. You can read more about the options if partial payment is received after a lien is filed here.
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