A mechanic’s lien statement is a legal document used by contractors to claim a lien against property in Minnesota.
What A Mechanic’s Lien Statement Must Include:
A contractor must include the following information in a mechanic’s lien statement:
- A statement that the contractor intends to claim and hold a lien, along with the amount it is claiming.
- A statement that the claimed amount is owed for the labor, skills, or materials the contractor performed.
- The contractor’s first and last date of contribution to the improvement.
- A clear description of the property.
- The name of the property owner.
- The contractor’s post office address.
- An acknowledgment that the lien statement is being timely served and that any required pre-lien notice was given.
Filing And Serving A Mechanic’s Lien Statements
The statement must be recorded in all counties where the property is located. If the property is abstract, the statement must be filed with the county recorder’s office. If it is Torrens property, the statement must be filed with the county registrar of titles. If the property is both abstract and Torrens, the mechanic’s lien statement must be filed with both offices.
A contractor must also serve the lien statement personally or by certified mail to the property owner or their agent, or the person who entered into the contract with the contractor. Sending the statement by regular mail is not sufficient, even if it is received by the intended recipient.
Filing and serving the mechanic’s lien statement must be done within 120 days after a contractor’s last contribution that genuinely advanced the project. Contributions made solely to extend the filing deadline are not counted. If the statement is not properly recorded and served, a contractor will lose its right to claim a mechanic’s lien.
Amount of Lien
A contractor should not claim in the mechanic’s lien statement more money than it is owed. A mechanic’s lien will not be allowed if it can be proven that the lien amount is knowingly overstated. However, to deprive a claimant of lien rights, there must be evidence of fraud, bad faith, or intentionally demanding more than the amount owed. An honest mistake will not invalidate lien rights.
Mechanic’s Liens Are Complex
Mechanic’s lien law is among the most complex areas of law that Minnesota construction lawyers face. A contractor or owner with questions about mechanic’s liens should contact a construction lawyer as soon as possible.
The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. Each situation is unique and the application of Minnesota law depends on the specific circumstances of each case.