By: Jennifer Watt
Timely filing your mechanic’s lien is important as it may make the difference in receiving payment before other creditors or being relegated to the end of the line. It will also allow you to recover your attorneys’ fees if your contract does not already have a clause allowing recovery of fees. You will forfeit your lien rights if you miss the filing deadline by even one day.
In Indiana, there are two different deadlines to keep in mind depending on the type of project you are working on. If you are working on a project that involves a commercial or industrial project and regulated public utilities you must file your mechanic’s lien notice within 90 days after last performance of labor or furnishing materials to the project. If your project involves a single or double family dwelling, the mechanic’s lien notice must be filed within 60 days after last performance of labor or furnishing materials to the project. See Ind. Code §32-28-3-3.
Once expired, the time cannot be revived by doing incidental work on the project. The lien must be based upon work that was required under the contract. Other work performed gratuitously or for work not contemplated by the original contract will not extend the time for filing your mechanics lien.
Also, keep in mind that a mechanic’s lien is recorded when the lien is file stamped by the recorder’s office, not when the lien was mailed. Ind. Code §32-28-5-5. Therefore, if the deadline is fast approaching, walk the lien over to the recorder’s office in person.
If you have not received timely payment, always remember to keep these deadlines in mind. Otherwise, you will risk losing your mechanics lien rights all together.