By definition, a mechanic’s lien release in Oregon is a legally enforceable document that indicates the customer has paid for construction work and satisfied the terms of the original lien. A mechanic’s lien release also serves another purpose: it removes the lien from official records for the property, which is often the goal of the property owner from the very start. The document you must file to release a mechanic’s lien in Oregon is known as a satisfaction of lien form.
Once you have received payment from the customer, you must complete and file an Oregon satisfaction of lien form to release a mechanic’s lien in Oregon (also known as a construction lien). This must occur within 10 days after the original lien has been paid and the lienholder is, as the document name suggests, satisfied. If a lien release is not filed in time, the lienholder could face penalties from the lien claimant, making it a crucial part of the lien filing process.
Through a critical step in the process, lien releases are all too often overlooked. When a lien is filed with Northwest Lien, however, we take care of the lien release for you, paying special attention to the deadlines and requirements that can stump the average lienholder.
Lien cancelation, lien release, certificate of full payment of claims of liens, and satisfaction of lien — all terms referring to the same part of the process. This is important to know since you’re likely to hear the terms interchangeably. Lien releases are also sometimes referred to as “lien waivers,” though there are technical differences; learn about the differences between lien waivers and lien releases. Whatever term you use, you are effectively releasing a mechanic’s lien that you filed previously because you have received full or partial payment for your work.
Most importantly, you should wait to file a lien cancelation until you have received payment. A lien release effectively releases all of your rights to a lien and, thus, all of the legal leverage you have to receive payment. If you release or cancel the lien, the likelihood of you getting paid decreases significantly.
Filing the mechanic’s lien release form within 10 days is a gesture of goodwill towards your client. It demonstrates that you have received payment and have no intention of pursuing legal action. The last thing you need is for your customer to leave poor reviews online that don’t include your side of the story. As a business owner, taking a proactive approach and not angering the customer is always your best bet.
Even when a lien against a property has expired, it can have a negative impact on property values if you don’t file the Oregon satisfaction of lien form within the required 10-day period. What’s more, your client has the legal right to file a lawsuit against you if you leave a lien on a property that has already been satisfied. Not only will a judge order you to remove the lien from the customer’s property, you may need to pay him or her monetary damages as well.
Another good reason for promptly filing an Oregon lien release is that it preserves your right to require your client to pay costs such as attorney and filing fees. Without this protection, you could end up paying all client costs associated with the legal action.
Oregon does not currently require lienholders to file a specific form to obtain a lien release — meaning, there’s no legally-specified satisfaction of lien form in Oregon. Oregon law does explain, however, what information must be included in a lien cancelation document for it to be considered valid:
The fact that Oregon does not provide a specific lien release form puts a lot of pressure on the lienholder to interpret the law. If you have questions about your lien rights, contact the regional experts at Northwest Lien. It’s helpful to have someone on your side who understands the ins and outs of Oregon lien law.
Once you have obtained a full or partial release of lien in Oregon, your next step is to file it with the recording office in the same county where you completed the work. Although rare, construction work sometimes extends into more than one county; in this case, you would need to file your lien release with each county involved in this situation. Filing your mechanic’s lien release online is typically the fastest and most convenient option, but not every county is equipped to offer electronic lien releases.
You should not consider your lien release final until you receive a copy of it marked “recorded” or “filed” from a county clerk. All parties involved with the construction project should also receive a copy of the satisfied lien release. This typically includes the construction project’s general contractor and the property owner at a minimum.
Maybe you don’t have time to complete this process or would like someone else to review your forms to ensure you don’t submit a lien release with errors — that’s where we come in. This blog post should be taken as legal advice; we understand that each situation is unique and thus requires individualized attention. With that in mind, Northwest Lien is here to satisfy queries about any part of the process, or manage the lien filing process for you entirely. Contact us today to learn more by filling out the form below.