Recording a Statement of Lien in Minnesota
Claims for mechanic's liens are used to recover unpaid balances for services rendered or materials delivered by placing an encumbrance (block) on the owner's title until the owner pays up and the claimant grants the owner a release. To obtain a mechanic's lien in Minnesota, claimants draft and record a form called a "Statement of Lien," but only after giving the required preliminary (pre-lien) notice to the property owner and other interested parties within 45 days of first starting the work or delivering any materials. M.S. 514.011.
The lien statement must be made by or at the instance of the lien claimant and be verified by the oath of some person shown by the verification to have knowledge of the facts stated. M.S. 514.08(2). The lien statement contains the following information: (1) a notice of intention to claim and hold a lien, and the amount thereof; (2) that such amount is due and owing to the claimant for labor performed, or for skill, material, or machinery furnished, and for what improvement the same was done or supplied; (3) the names of the claimant, and of the person for or to whom performed or furnished; (4) the dates when the first and last items of the claimant's contribution to the improvement were made; (5) a description of the premises to be charged, identifying the same with reasonable certainty; (6) the name of the owner at the time of making such statement, according to the best information available; (7) the post office address of the claimant (the failure to insert such post office address will not invalidate the lien statement); (8) that claimant acknowledges that a copy of the statement must be served personally or by certified mail within the 120-day period provided in this section on the owner, the owner's authorized agent or the person who entered the contract with the contractor as provided herein; and (9) that notice as required by M.S. 514.011(2), if any, was given. Id.
When the claimant files the notice, the Social Security number of an individual owner or the Internal Revenue Service taxpayer identification number for an owner other than an individual is not required. Id.
The statement of the claim must be filed with the county recorder or, if registered (Torrens title) land, with the registrar of titles of the county in which the improved premises are situated within 120 days of the last furnishing. M.S. 514.08(1). If the claim is made under M.S. 514.04 (for railway, telegraph or similar projects), the statement must be filed with the secretary of state. Id. After recording, a copy of the statement must be served personally or by certified mail on the owner or the owner's authorized agent (or the person who entered the contract with the contractor) within the same 120-day period. Id.
Once you the lien is in place, the claimant gains a valuable bargaining chip to help persuade the owner to arrange payment for the services of materials provided. Be aware that liens don't last forever. Because liens affect the owner's title, the legislature gives them an expiration period for enforcement actions. No lien shall be enforced in any case unless the holder files a complaint or answer with the court administrator, within one year after the date of the last item of the claim as set forth in the recorded lien statement. M.S. 514.12(3).
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Please contact a Minnesota-licensed attorney with any questions about recording a lien statement or other related issues.
Deeds.com Minnesota Mechanics Statement of Lien Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Wednesday September 11, 2019
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