How long do contractors have to file a mechanic’s lien?

On Behalf of | May 5, 2023 | Construction Litigation

As you undoubtedly know, making money in construction can be difficult. After all, even if you provide top-level service to your clients, there are no guarantees they will pay you. Luckily, Georgia law gives you some options for securing payment.

A common option is to file a mechanic’s lien on the property. According to Consumer Ed, If you go this route, you have a legal ownership claim you can leverage to secure payment. Indeed, if your client continues to refuse to pay, you eventually can foreclose on the property.  You do not have forever to take action, though.

You must file within 90 days

Georgia law requires you to file your mechanic’s lien within 90 days of the day you last delivered materials or worked on the project. This time can pass quickly, of course, especially if you are diligently trying to secure payment. That is, if your clients are dragging their feet or promising to pay, 90 days may elapse quickly.

Your lien only lasts a year

Even though preparing and filing a mechanic’s lien is an achievement, you might have to take additional action to receive the outstanding payments you are due. Specifically, you may have to enforce the lien by forcing the property into foreclosure. You only have one year to accomplish this objective, however.

In Georgia, mechanic’s liens are not extendable. As a result, if you want to enforce your lien, you have a limited time to act. Ultimately, though, filing a mechanic’s lien might be the nudge your clients need to write you a check for the work you have completed.