Construction projects and creditors’ rights can be puzzling. We know the law in Indiana and we have extensive experience in filing liens on state and local projects, foreclosing those liens, and recovering claims on bonded public projects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there special requirements for owner occupied dwellings?
Yes. Indiana law presumes that homeowners are ignorant of subcontractors’ or materials suppliers’ rights to hold mechanic’s liens on their homes. For new construction, a pre-lien notice must be filed with the County Recorder’s office and served on the owner within 60 days of first furnishing materials or labor. On remodeling projects, a pre-lien notice must be served on the owner within 30 days of first furnishing materials or labor.
How do I know if a project is public or private?
Generally, public projects are characterized as using taxpayer dollars. Public projects include those involving an entity that has taxing authority under Indiana law such as airport authorities. Mechanic’s liens cannot be filed on public property held for public use.
How long does a properly filed mechanics' lien remain valid?
A mechanic’s lien claimant must file suit within one year of the date the mechanics' lien is filed with the County Recorder’s office. Otherwise, the mechanics' lien becomes null and void as a matter of law.
What if I am outside the time limit for filing a mechanics lien on a private project?
You may still have a claim against money in the hands of the project owner that is due or to become due to the general contractor. To put this claim in place, you must send a Notice to Owner of Potential Liability letter to the owner. This remedy is in addition to the mechanic’s lien remedy and is intended to allow materials suppliers and subcontractors an opportunity to get to contract proceeds.
What type of work or materials qualify for filing a mechanic's lien?
Generally, there must be some improvement to the real estate or a building. A mechanic’s lien cannot be filed in connection with trade fixtures which are easily movable to another location.
When must a subcontractor or material supplier file a claim on a public project?
Generally, within 60 days after the claimant’s last furnishing of work on the project. There are four different statutes in Indiana governing subcontractors or material suppliers’ claims on public works projects, so you should call us for specific details on a project.
When must a subcontractor or material supplier file a mechanic's lien in Indiana?
Within 90 days after last furnishing materials or labor on a commercial project; within 60 days after last furnishing materials or labor on a project involving a single or double family dwelling.