Washington and Oregon LiensFILE NOW
Technically, a mechanic’s lien is a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property. The lien exists for both real property and personal property. More simply, when you file a mechanic’s lien on a property, you then have an interest in that property and the owner cannot sell without first satisfying your interest.
Mechanic’s liens, otherwise known as construction liens, are the single most effective method to collect outstanding payment available in the construction industry. They can be filed in minutes here on our website and recorded in a matter of days with the appropriate county. Liens are a fraction of the cost of hiring an attorney, and through Northwest Lien, succeed in getting you paid over 60% of the time.
When you file a lien, you have the right to force the sale of the property you put work into and collect the amount you’re owed from the sale proceeds. The Country Sherriff is required to carry out the sale. Because of this right to sell and collect, most lending institutions or other prospective purchasers will avoid any property that has a lien filed against it. Who would want to invest in a piece of property if someone else has the right to sell and take some of the money first? For this reason, those who have filed a lien are in a much better position to secure payment from the unwilling owner because he or she will have a difficult time selling the property with a lien clouding the title.
The filing of a lien does not guarantee payment, but it does prevent the owner from conveying the property without paying the lien or posting a bond. If you haven’t filed a lien (or do not meet the requirements to file a lien) but you do have a contract with the owner for the work you performed, the best alternative is usually to proceed to court. This can be a lengthy and very costly process, especially in comparison to filing a protective lien.
In Washington and Oregon, a “Claim of Lien” must be filed within 90 days or 75 days, respectively, of the date a project participant last provided labor or materials. Once the Claim of Lien is filed, the property owner must receive it via certified mail within 14 days, return receipt requested. After that time, the lien is then valid for 8 months and liable to expire after the 8-month period if there is no action taken. The lien will become invalid if the below deadlines are not observed.
Washington Lien Deadline
Washington mechanics' liens must be filed within 90 days from last delivering labor or materials.
Oregon Lien Deadline
Lien must be filed within 75 days after last labor or materials furnished or completion of project (whichever happens first).
Under Washington and Oregon law, contractors are required to have a Notice of Intent in place before filing a lien. Otherwise, the lien may not be counted as valid. Northwest Lien makes it easy to make notices part of your routine before entering any new job site.
Yes, notices are required, but the type depends on the project. For general contractors directly in contact with the property owner, a model disclosure statement must be filed if any of the following apply:
A Model Disclosure Statement, or Notice to Owner, must be sent prior to any work on the project. The owner must sign it and keep it on file for at least 3 years. Read more about Model Disclosure Statements in Washington.
If a project participant is a subcontractor not in direct contact with the owner, a Notice to Intent is required. On a commercial improvement project or repair of a single owner-occupied residence, this should be delivered to the property owner via certified mail with return receipt requested within 60 days of the last date services or labor were provided. For new construction of a single-family home, the Notice to Owner should be sent within 10 days of the last date the project participant provided labor or materials.
While a legal description is not required, Washington and Oregon mechanic’s lien law does require either an address or location description so the property can be properly identified.
Lien releases are certificates filed with the recorder to remove any liens previously filed against the property. Washington and Oregon mechanic’s lien law requires that a project participant immediately release the lien after payment with a lien release.
Washington and Oregon allow any project participant that has provided professional services, materials, labor, and equipment contributing to the improvement of a property to file a mechanic’s lien.
How is improvement defined? An improvement is any constructing, altering, repairing, remodeling, demolishing, clearing, grading, and landscaping services provided to the property. Unfortunately, suppliers working with other suppliers don’t qualify for lien rights.
Cathy Snow, Pape’ Material Handling
I have been working with Northwest Lien service for quite a while. They are very Professional and willing to answer any questions that I have. I have been asked to use a different lien company and I have refused. Northwest Lien Service is top notch and I won’t go anywhere else.
Jessie Gillet, CFO of Norkote, Inc
Norkote has been utilizing Northwest Lien since 2005. After a lien pressured a project owner to pay, previously determined as an uncollectible debt, and construction lawyers stressing the importance of exercising lien rights, Norkote has made it standard practice to file pre-lien notices on each of our projects. NW Lien is economical, knowledgeable, fast, and has maintained the same staff and high level of customer service for the 14 years of utilizing their services. Highly recommended to all contractors.
Maria Sanchez, Credit Manager A/R at Atlas Supply
I have been using Northwest Lien services for over twelve years. Their staff is professional and knowledgeable. Profitability is a critical priority for Contractors and Suppliers. As a result, close attention is paid to operational costs. Northwest Lien Services helps Contractors and Suppliers control costs, adopt consistent, lean operational processes, reduce the time spent cutting checks for UCC filings, and optimize fee structure. We thank Northwest Lien for their reliable support and we are looking forward to more years of successful results.
Why Work with Northwest Lien?
At Northwest Lien, you get just what our name suggests — a local company that specializes in knowing the construction lien laws right here in the great northwest. That means you can have peace of mind knowing your documents are being prepared correctly and efficiently every time, giving you the ability to get paid fast.
Northwest Lien has been in business for over 20 years and during that time developed long-standing relationships with some of the foremost construction companies in the northwest. We pride ourselves on not only making sure each document is prepared properly, but also providing the highest level of customer service in the lien industry. We simply love what we do.