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Mechanic’s Lien Oregon - Guide & FAQ

Customer withholding payment on a job in Oregon? We can help!


What is a Oregon Mechanic's Lien?

An Oregon mechanic's lien, also called a contractor lien or construction lien, is a legal tool that allows Oregon contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers/laborers to leverage the value of a property they have done work on to receive the wages they are owed. When filing a mechanic's lien, you can force the sale of the property in question to collect what you are owed. A mechanic's lien is an effective way to get paid if the property owner doesn't comply with the contract terms.

Liens are powerful tools that can damage the worth and reputation of a property; they are just as powerful as a lawsuit, but cost considerably less. Liens are extremely serious and all states — including Oregon — treat them this way.

What you’ll find on this page

The most commonly asked questions and topics regarding Oregon mechanics’ liens are listed below. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact us today to talk with our team of experts. As the regional lien expert, Northwest Lien has been assisting Oregonians with lien services in the construction industry for over 20 years. We're looking forward to doing the same for you!

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Key Things to Know About Oregon Mechanics' Liens

In Oregon, contractors and suppliers have strong lien rights. If you are in this position and do not receive payment for a job, you can file a lien to help speed up the payment process and to protect yourself — though certain requirements must be met to be eligible for this protection.

Here are a few key things we want you to know about filing Oregon mechanics’ liens:

Send the Preliminary Notice Quickly!

Oregon has the shortest preliminary notice deadlines in the country. For any residential project exceeding $2,000, a general contractor must provide the Information Notice to Owner when the contract is signed or within five days of the contractor’s discovery that the contract will exceed $2,000.

For other parties (suppliers and subcontractors) on residential projects, the Oregon Notice of Right to Lien needs to be sent within eight days of the project being first furnished. For commercial projects, only those who supply materials must send the preliminary notice (within eight days of the first furnishing), but it is smart for all parties to do this, which will help protect their rights to file a lien.

Only Very Specific Parties Have Lien Rights 

Oregon law is generally pretty specific, especially when it comes to eligibility for filing a lien. Learn more about who is eligible for this right below in the “How to File” section of this page.

Your Deadline to File a Lien Can Be One of Two Dates

Deadlines are very important in Oregon. The consequences for attempting to file a lien after your deadline has passed are more severe in Oregon than in other states and, in a worst-case scenario, could result in revoking your Oregon contractor’s license.

The deadline for filing an Oregon mechanic’s lien on your specific project is one of the two following dates, whichever happens first:

  • 75 days after you last furnished labor or materials
  • 75 days after the project is complete

Ensure you wait until whichever deadline applies to you to file a lien. If you file too early, the lien claim will be considered premature and invalid.

Use the links in the blue bar below to find more helpful information. 

Oregon Deadlines

Know your deadlines! Oregon lien deadlines are some of the shortest in the country, making missed deadlines the most common and costly mistakes local companies make when trying to recover payment.

The deadline that applies to you depends on a number of factors, including the role you played in the project and the document you’re trying to file. We’ve listed general deadlines for Oregon lienholders below.

  • For General Contractors
  • For Subs / Laborers
  • For Suppliers / Others

Notice to Owner Deadlines


Information Notice to Owner at time of contract execution for residential projects.


Mechanic's Lien Deadlines


Lien must be filed within 75 days after last labor or materials furnished or completion of project (whichever happens first).


Preliminary Notice Deadlines


Preliminary notice, or "Notice of Right to Lien", served on owner (and lender, if any) within 8 days of providing labor/materials on residential projects.


Mechanic's Lien Deadlines


Lien must be filed within 75 days after last labor or materials furnished or completion of project (whichever happens first).


Preliminary Notice Deadlines


Preliminary notice, or "Notice of Right to Lien", served on owner (and lender, if any) within 8 days of providing labor/materials on residential projects.


Mechanic's Lien Deadlines


Lien must be filed within 75 days after last labor or materials furnished or completion of project (whichever comes first).


How to File a Mechanic's Lien in Oregon

Filing a mechanic’s lien in Oregon requires you to take certain steps and meet specific requirements. We’ll give you a good overview here but, for more detailed information, visit our comprehensive guide linked below.



Step 1: Determine if you have the right to file a lien

You must determine if you are one of the parties with the right to file a mechanic’s lien in Oregon. According to Oregon law, certain professionals can file Oregon mechanics’ liens for the work done. These people include:

  • Anyone who performs labor, transports, or furnishes materials for use during the construction or improvement of a property. This includes those who provided equipment rentals.
  • Anyone who rents equipment or engages in the preparation of land or a lot, or improves or rents equipment for the improvement of a road or street that adjoins a parcel of land or lot at the owner’s request.
  • A trustee of an employee benefit plan can file a lien on the improvement for their contribution, including the labor they performed on it.
  • A registered engineer, land surveyor, landscape architect, or architect who prepares drawings, plans, or specifications upon request by property owner, agent, or construction supervisor.

To be eligible to file a lien, you must have also had to have filed an Oregon preliminary notice within the deadline and there must not be a construction lien waiver in place.

Since each situation is different, the laws may seem ambiguous. It can be challenging to determine if you have the right to file a mechanic’s lien in Oregon. Working with an industry professional on this matter can help you better understand your rights.


Step 2: Prepare the lien document

When preparing the lien document, there is specific information you must include. This includes:

  • The amount of the lien
  • Name of the property owner or reputed owner
  • Name of the person indebted to the claimant
  • Property Description
  • Acknowledgment and signature

Once this information is included on the lien form, you can file the mechanic’s lien.


Step 3: File the lien

Once the form is complete, you can file the lien in person, online, or by mail. Even if it is not the state where your business is headquartered, the lien is required to be recorded in the county recording office where the actual project occurred. If the project was done in several counties, the lien must be filed in all the associated county recording offices.


Step 4: Send notice of lien

After the county auditor records the lien, it’s the claimant’s responsibility to send a copy of it to the property owner. This must be done within 20 days of the recording. If you forget to send the lien to the property owner, it will not invalidate the lien — but it will mean you won’t be able to recover the legal fees you were charged during the lien process.


Step 5: Secure payment

In most situations, filing a lien is enough to convince a property owner to settle their debts. However, in some situations, you may find a property owner who needs a bit of a nudge to break out their checkbook. Luckily, you have other notices and legal forms to use if needed, including demand letters and a Notice of Intent to Foreclose.

Oregon liens will only be good for 120 days from the recorded date. Because of this, you may need to take more aggressive legal steps — such as enforcing the lien, i.e., taking it to court.


Step 6: Release the lien

After receiving payment, it’s necessary to release the mechanic’s lien using an Oregon lien release (not to be confused with a lien waiver). The process is similar to what you do to file one, and you must submit and record another document in the same county of the recording office where you filed the original paperwork.

Oregon Mechanic’s Lien FAQs

General Lien FAQs

Notice FAQs