Contractors, subcontractors, and materialmen in Minnesota can file liens on the private property on which they provided materials or supplies to help ensure payment. Payment on public work is normally guaranteed via bond.
Assuming compliance with the pre-lien requirements, if necessary, the lien attaches on the last day you provide services. After "substantial completion" of the project, you then have 120 days to serve and file the lien against the property and a statement of the claim. The statement must set forth:
(1) a notice of intention to claim and hold a lien, and the amount thereof;
(2) that such amount is due and owing to the claimant for labor performed, or for skill, material, or machinery furnished, and for what improvement the same was done or supplied;
(3) the names of the claimant, and of the person for or to whom performed or furnished;
(4) the dates when the first and last items of the claimant's contribution to the improvement were made;
(5) a description of the premises to be charged, identifying the same with reasonable certainty;
(6) the name of the owner thereof at the time of making such statement, according to the best information then had;
(7) the post office address of the claimant. (The failure to insert such post office address shall not invalidate the lien statement);
(8) that claimant acknowledges that a copy of the statement must be served personally or by certified mail within the 120-day period provided in this section on the owner, the owner's authorized agent or the person who entered into the contract with the contractor as provided herein; and
(9) that notice as required by section 514.011, subdivision 2, if any, was given.
Assuming the process is completed correctly, the lien creates both a cloud on the property owner's title and an interest in the property for the service provider. This property interest is forecloseable, meaning that the service provider can force a sale of the property to collect payment. The mechanic's lien foreclosure is similar to that of a mortgage foreclosure, with a few important distinctions, not the least of which is the right to recover attorney's fees.
Whether you are a service provider looking to collect payment or are a property-owner looking to dispute claim, the attorneys at WLG will protect your rights and work to provide the best outcome possible for you.