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We filed a lien back in October 2018 and have still not been paid. What is my next course of action?

New JerseyForeclosure

We filed a mechanics lien back in October 2018. It was within the deadline and was excepted but we never received payment. What is the next course of action we should take?

1 reply

Jun 14, 2019
If a lien filing itself doesn't result directly in payment, at some point the next step will be to enforce the lien claim. However, as outlined in this article, there may be a few additional steps to take prior to initiating a lawsuit to enforce it. Every state has a deadline by which an action to enforce a mechanics lien must be initiated, or the lien will expire and become ineffective and unenforceable. The real power behind a mechanics lien is that the enforcement of the lien can result in the property being sold to satisfy the debt. Enforcing a lien is a foreclosure action, and as such, is a full-blown lawsuit.

In New Jersey, the deadline to enforce a mechanics lien is generally 1 year after the lien claimant last furnished labor or material to the project. If that deadline passes, the lien no longer encumbers the property and cannot be enforced. Note, however, that the deadline can be dramatically shortened by action of the property owner or other interested party. If the property owner, or other interested party, provides a written notice (by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested) requiring the claimant to commence an action to enforce the lien claim, the deadline by which the lien must be enforced is reduced to is allowed to may be reduced to 30 days after the receipt of that notice.

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