So, you have a lien on file and you still have not gotten paid. How long do you have to enforce your lien? As with most matters in the law, it depends.
The Nebraska Construction Lien Act provides that your lien will be effective for two years after recording of the lien. If you do not institute judicial proceedings within those two years, your lien will become void. This does not mean that you do not retain a claim against the property owner, it just means that you will have to obtain a judgment before you can again attach the property.
There is, however, a twist to how long your lien will remain effective. If the owner makes a written demand that you institute a judicial proceeding within thirty days, the lien will lapse unless within thirty days of the demand you file suit or record an affidavit stating that the total contract price is not yet due under the contract.
For owners, this can be a tremendous tool to eliminate liens that were frivolously filed. It should also be a warning to contractors that you may have a very short window in which to enforce your lien.
Liens are a great way to preserve your interest in the property, but make sure you enforce your lien in time.
Great post. In Missouri and Kansas (where I primarily practice), the time periods are much shorter for filing a lawsuit to enforce a mechanic’s lien – 6 months in Missouri and 1 year in Kansas.
I thought it was only one year in Nebraska. That’s good to know. I have a question though. We had a renovation project completed in January of this year and paid our contractor in full but they failed to pay off the sub-contractors. I just had a lien filed on our home this week by the electrician but they completed thier work in on 1/17/12. Don’t they only have 120 days to file a lien so isn’t this lien invalid? Thanks
We just received notice of a contractor placing a lien on our property from an estimate they did for a deck. My husband signed the estimate on a Fridaythen discussed with me over the weekend back in August. The following Monday, he called the Deck contractor and told them we were not going to be able to follow through with the project idea. The contractor proceeded to keep our information on file and now we are receiving this lien notifiation that we owe him money for cancelling but we never had a project date and no one ever came to our house with materials or anything? I am at a loss as what to do to dispute this.
I had a contractor file a lien on our property. We had not paid the bill because he was not finished with the project. There are problems which still have not been fixed. He also charged us for repair on work he had to redo (once I finally got an itemized statement). What is my course of action now to remove this lien or do I file a demand for judicial proceedings??