What is a construction lien? Many contractors and subcontractors who occasionally have problems collecting what they are owed often ask the construction liens New Jersey attorneys from Snellings Law LLC exactly that question. Construction liens provide an important vehicle with which contractors and subcontractors can collect the money they are owed for their work and supplies. The process for obtaining these liens must be completed correctly and in a timely manner, however, or else the contractors or subcontractors will lose their rights to use them as a method to secure payment.
Requirements for Construction Liens
A construction lien can be placed against the property of the owner who has not paid for work performed or supplies provided. In order to get a construction lien, however, you must follow the strict requirements as outlined under New Jersey Statutes § 2A:44A-1, et seq. If you do not adhere exactly to the requirements, your construction lien will be discharged, and you will not be able to use it to secure payment.
Statutory Deadline for a Construction Lien
In New Jersey, you must complete the entire process no more than within 90 days after you last did work on the property or provided supplies for work being performed. If you do not meet this deadline, your ability to get a lien on the property will be foreclosed. In order to get the lien within the required deadline, you must first serve a notice of unpaid balance and right to file lien claim on the property owner that follows the state’s rules for proper service. This notice must be served on the property owner no later than 60 days following the completion of your work or the provision of your supplies.
After the notice has been filed with the county clerk, you must then demand arbitration, which is performed through the American Arbitration Association. At arbitration, the property owner has the right to dispute your ability to place a lien against their property. The arbitrator at the hearing will decide whether or not you will be granted your construction lien and the amount in which the lien may be issued.
Timeliness of Arbitration Demands
It is very important for you to demand arbitration well within the overall 60-day statutory deadline. The arbitration hearing must be held before the 90-day period expires, or you will not be granted your lien. Failing to follow the legal requirements for obtaining a construction lien can also result in your being held responsible for paying the property owner’s attorney fees in addition to your losing your right to use the lien to collect what is owed to you.
Reasons to Use an Attorney
Many contractors and subcontractors make the mistake of attempting to file for liens without help. This often results in their making filing errors and then losing their rights to the liens. Another problem that sometimes happens is that a contractor or subcontractor may simply wait too long before trying to get a lien. If you are owed money for construction work you performed or supplies you provided for work on a homeowner’s property, it is important for you to act quickly. If you fail to do so, you can lose your right to secure payment using this highly effective collection method for the money that you are owed. An attorney may be able to help to make certain your notice is properly served on the homeowner and filed with the county clerk. They may also help by representing you and advocating for your lien at the mandatory arbitration hearing. By making certain that they help you meet your deadline and filing requirements for all stages of the lien process, an attorney may help you to preserve your rights. A lien may allow you to force a sale of the homeowner’s property or can be used to prevent them from selling it without paying you, so it can be highly effective.
What Is a Construction Lien? Contact a Construction Liens New Jersey Attorney for Help
For help understanding what is a construction lien, call the attorneys at Snellings Law LLC at (973) 265-6100.