Georgia Claim of Mechanics Lien
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Claim of Mechanics Lien for Real Estate Located in Georgia
Claiming a Mechanic's Lien in Georgia
Mechanic's liens provide security of payment to builders, contractors, and other parties on a construction job. Suppliers of materials, subcontractors and persons delivering materials can also claim a lien. Liens cover building repairs as well. A mechanic's lien works by making it harder for the owner to sell or refinance the property without first paying off the underlying lien. It also gives the person holding the lien the right to foreclose, or force a sale of the property to recover the money owed.
A mechanic's lien is available in Georgia for contractors, subcontractors, materials suppliers, and laborers to recover on past-due accounts for work or materials furnished. O.G.C.A. 44-14-361.1(a)(1). Use caution when filing a mechanic's lien, as the law contains many traps for the unwary. Carefully compute dates and make sure to file all the required preliminary notices, follow all requirements for content and format, and pay the proper recording fees. The form must be notarized as well.
The lien claim should include the following information: 1) the lien claimant's name and address; 2) the claimed lien amount; 3) property owner's name and mailing address; 4) date on which claim became due; 5) description of materials or services provided; 6) address of property where materials or services were provided; and 7) a full legal description of the property. The amount claimed cannot be greater than the overall contract amount. O.G.C.A. 44-14-361.1(e).
The lien must be claimed within 90 days after the final day of furnishing. O.G.C.A. 44-14-361.1(a)(2). The lien claimant must serve the claim of lien within two business days after filing it. Id. Serve the claim by sending a true and accurate copy of the claim of lien by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the owner of the property or, if the owner's address cannot be found, it can be sent to the contractor as the agent of the owner. Id. If a Notice of Commencement has been filed pursuant to O.G.C.A. 44-14-361.5, the lien claimant must also serve every contractor listed in it. Id.
Once the lien is filed, be aware it has a limited shelf life. If the amount due still remains unpaid, the claimant must file suit within 365 days of the filing date. O.G.C.A. 44-14-361.1(a)(3). In addition, within 30 days after commencing such lien action, the party suing to foreclose the lien must file a notice with the clerk of the superior court of the county where the subject lien was filed. Id. Finally, if the lien is paid (and after the check clears), release the lien by filing and recording the proper notices.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Please contact an attorney with any questions about filing a claim for a mechanic's lien in Georgia.