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Frequently Asked Questions - New York Mechanics Lien

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What is a New York mechanics' lien ?

In New York, liens filed on private property or on funds relating to a public project are known as Mechanic's Liens. A mechanics lien in NY is an instrument created by state statute. These statutes, known as the New York Lien Law, provide specific and detailed instructions on who can file a mechanics lien in NY, when a NY mechanics lien must filed, and the process by which a NY mechanics lien is file and served. The New York State (NYS) mechanics lien law allows for three different types of lien: New York private mechanics liens, which are filed on commercial or private projects, New York residential mechanics liens, which are filed on certain residential homes, and New York public mechanics liens, which are filed on government projects.

Each of these types of NYS mechanics liens serve a different purpose and effect, but also have different requirements and time periods for filing. When a mechanics lien in New York is filed with regard to work performed on privately owned property, including both commercial and residential property, it attaches to and encumbers the fee simple ownership of property, which means that encumbers the property, similar to how a mortgage affects property.

When a New York mechanics lien is filed with regard to work performed on a publicly or government owned property, it attaches to the fund of money which the public agency has allocated for a project. The reason for this is that you cannot force the sale of publicly owned land (public agencies mean any county, city, town, township, public commission, public board or other municipality authorized by law to make contracts for the making of any public improvement in any city, town, township or other municipality).

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Who can file a New York mechanics lien?

The mechanics lien for New York is available to a broad base of claimants. One of the most inclusive laws in the nation, NYS mechanics liens can be used by contractors, architects, engineers, consultants, as well as subcontractors, sub-subcontractors and suppliers who have a contract with a general contractor or a subcontractor. By allowing nearly anyone who works on a project to avail themselves of the NYS lien law statutes and file a NYS mechanics lien, maximum protection is provided to those who provide labor and materials to a construction project in New York. The ability to file a mechanics in lien New York is not limited by the type of project on which one is working: all types of projects, be they residential, commercial or public projects, are subject to lien claims.

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Are pre-notices required in order to file a New York mechanics lien?

It is strongly recommended that preliminary notices or prelien notices be send at the commencement of the project or prior to filing a lien claim. The importance of the owner knowing who is providing work or materials to the project is difficult to overstate. NYS mechanics liens are generally filed due to non-payment. NY Preliminary notices or NY prelien notices help to resolve that issue by providing identifying information to the owner, and with this information the owner can not only inquire specifically as to who has or has not been paid for work performed, but the owner also knows who specifically to contact in the case of a payment dispute.

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 When should a New York mechanics lien be filed?

It is extremely important to pay attention to the time periods for filing a mechanics lien in NY. Mechanics' liens in New York on private property must be filed within eight months of the last date the lienor provided materials or services to the Project.

New York mechanics' liens with regard to public projects can be filed at any time before the completion and acceptance of a public improvement, but no later than 30 days following completion and acceptance by the state or the public corporation.

New York mechanics' liens with regard to residential single family dwellings must be filed within four months after completion of the work.

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How much does it cost to file a New York mechanics' lien ?

LienItNow.com prepares, files and serves New York mechanics' liens for a fee of $290.00.

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Do I need a written contract in order to file a New York mechanics lien?

Oral contracts are sufficient if you have sufficient documentation to show the existence of an agreement or that you performed the work for which you are filing a New York mechanics lien.

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How does filing a New York mechanics' lien help me get my money?

On a private project, the New York mechanics' lien places an encumbrance on the property that makes it difficult to resell or re-finance the property without first removing the lien. On a public project, the filing of a New York mechanics lien freezes the fund of money that has been allocated for the public project, thus reducing or sometimes even stopping the flow of payments to the offending contractor until the lienor is paid.

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What is a New York Stop Notice and why should it be filed

LienItNow.com prepares and serves New York Stop Notices for a fee of $125.00.  A Stop Notice is a notification that has the ability to enhance the effectiveness of a mechanic's lien. A Stop Notice, or a notice to withhold funds, is sent to the company that is financing or funding the construction funds for a project. Once that company receives the Stop Notice, that company has notice that it should withhold sufficient money to satisfy the stop notice claim. The purpose of the Stop Notice is to provide the lender, financiers or funders of the construction project notice that there is money owed to a contractor, subcontractor or supplier so that an inquiry can be made as to why that money is not being paid.

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What is a New York Amendment to a mechanics' lien Claim?

LienItNow.com prepares, files and serves New York Amendments to mechanics' lien Claims for a fee of $250.00.  Amendments to a mechanics' lien claim are often needed when something about the claim changes.  Common changes to a lien claim are increases or reductions in the amount due to the lienor, or a change to the last date of work.

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When should a New York Discharge of mechanics' lien claim be filed?

LienItNow.com prepares, files and serves New York Discharges of mechanics' lien Claims for a fee of $85.00.  Once the lienor has been paid the amount contained in its lien claim, or has come to an agreement that requires the lien claim to be removed from the property records, a Discharge of mechanics' lien Claim should be filed.

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How much does it cost to file a New York Extension of a mechanics' lien Claim?

LienItNow.com prepares, files and serves notices of extension of mechanics' lien Claims for a fee of $85.00. The filing an extension of the mechanics' lien claim permits the claimant an extra month to file a lien claim, except for lien claims to be filed on residential property.

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Can I file a Bond Claim on a New York Project?

LienItNow.com prepares, files and serves New York Bond Claims for a fee of $275.00.  Bond claims can only be filed on a project where the owner, contractor or subcontractor has obtained a payment bond to ensure that every contractor receives payment for the work performed on the Project.  The payment bonds issued by sureties for construction projects have specific timing requirements, but most require claimants to submit claims against the bond within sixty to ninety days from the claimants' last date of work.  Bond claims are as or more effective than a lien claim because the payment bond acts as a guarantee that payment will be made for work properly completed.

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Do I need to file a Pre-Notice to make a claim against a New York payment bond?

LienItNow.com prepares, files and serves New York Pre-Notices for bond claims for a fee of $50.00.  Depending on the terms of the payment bond, pre-notices may or may not be required.  LienItNow.com recommends that, prior to or immediately after starting work or delivering materials to a project, subcontractors and suppliers, file a pre-notice that it is a potential beneficiary of the construction project's bond.

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