- A mechanic's lien is a lien filed by a contractor or construction firm. This is also sometimes referred to as a "construction lien," "labor lien" or "artisan lien."
- A judgement lien is a lien filed by a creditor who is not a contractor, such as a small business owner who conducted a service for which he or she was never paid by the debtor.
Give preliminary notice. Because a lien is such a powerful tool, in most states you'll need to notify the debtor that you will file a lien if he or she doesn't pay up. This is usually given within the first few weeks of beginning the contract work, before the question of payment has become a problem. In some cases you may want to write the lien potential into your initial contract, which serves as the notice.
- The type of notice required varies from state to state. In some cases you may need to obtain a form to give official notice. Contact your county clerk for more information
- The lien will need to contain legal information about the property in question, as well as the amount you wish you collect.
- File the lien in the courthouse of the county where the work was completed.
- The lien will typically state the the debt must be collected within 12 months of its issuance.
- As soon as you file this lien form and record it in the county where the property is located, the lien will appear on any official report related to the property.