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Lien expiration date - Washington State

WashingtonLien DeadlinesLien ReleasesMechanics Lien

I found two liens that my company filed many years ago (2012 and 2002). They still appear to be attached to the property when searched on the county's assessors page. My understanding is that liens in Washington state expire after 8 months if not enforced. If so, why are these liens still attached to the properties? Do we have any obligation to remove these liens? Can we still enforce them now?

1 reply

Oct 31, 2017
You are correct that a Washington mechanics lien expires 8 months after it is filed, if an action to enforce is not initiated in that time. The "expiration" of the lien means that the lien becomes unenforceable, not that it is removed from the record. So, liens from 2012 and 2002 are currently unenforceable (absent some very strange circumstances).

Washington lien law provides no specific requirement to remove expired liens in this situation, but if the property owners ever attempt to sell or refinance, the lien will come up (despite not being enforceable) and they may request the removal. It is generally a good idea to remove liens after their expiration, but noting on the release that it is not for payment but rather for other reasons.
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