Important Facts

When?  

 General Contractors / Design Professionals (if your contract is with the owner): File a Delaware mechanics lien within 180 days of completion of the overall project.

Subcontractors/Suppliers (if your contract is with the prime or another sub): Record that Delaware lien within 120 days of the date final payment is due or the date the general contractor receives payment.

 Who?  A mechanic’s lien in Delaware is allowed for General contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, renters of equipment, architects, engineers, and land surveyors.

 Where?  Unlike other states, one cannot simply file a mechanics lien.  Instead, you must file a lawsuit which includes a statement of lien.  This is filed with the Superior Court (in county where work / material furnished).

Let Us Help with the Lawsuit.   We have the templates for a lawsuit to file and enforce the mechanics lien.  Give us a call and we can start the process. (800-995-9434).

Mechanics Lien for Delaware Law SummaryFor a more detailed discussion of Delaware mechanics liens.

Amount of Delaware mechanic’s lien: All work/material furnished under the base verbal or written contract plus change orders actually performed, whether signed or not. Finance charges are allowed only if included in your contract or PO and signed by the other party. If not, you still get pre-judgment interest.  But do not include specific finance charges or interest in the amount of your lien; instead express it as a possible add-on at trial. Example: “Mechanic’s lien for the principal amount of $10,550, plus finance charges / pre-judgment interest as allowed by law”.  This will be awarded later if you are the prevailing party in the Delaware lien foreclosure suit.

Do not reduce for freebies or discounts, as they were contingent on being paid.  With non-payment, it is no longer legal consideration for a contract modification in which the owner receives a reduced price.  Example:  In a kitchen remodel, for good customer relations you supplied some extras free:  a) a 48 bottle built-in wine cellar and b) painted the adjoining dining room with a coat of base and semi-gloss. Then you never got paid the last installment on the contract. If you supplied labor only, your Delaware lien will add in the hourly rate under the contract. If labor and material, use cost-plus or T & M amounts in the lien.

Do not include:  A mechanics lien in Delaware should not include: court costs and attorneys’ fees (included later if you win at trial for breach of contract); lost profits if terminated from the job; delay or impact damages; lost time or business interruption; or anything else not constituting actual labor and materials improving the property.

Be careful.  Including unauthorized amounts can invalidate a Delaware mechanics lien.  Call us if you have any questions.

 

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