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                                                                      Instructions

When?  

Subcontractors/Suppliers (if your contract is with the prime or another sub): Similar to the above for generals, record the Washington lien within 90 days of your last furnishing labor or materials to the project (your portion of the work).

 General Contractors / Design Professionals (if your contract is with the owner): File your Washington lien within 90 days of the last furnishing of labor or materials to the project.

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

 Where?  County Auditor in the county where work and/or material was furnished.

How Long Does it Stay on Record?  A mechanics lien in Washington stays 8 months after recording the lien. A lawsuit to foreclose the lien is then required. We have templates for this.

Let Us Help:   If you prefer, for the same price, we will instruct you how to fill-out the Washington mechanic’s lien form line by line, answer questions, and give a general idea of the chances for success in enforcing the lien. (800-995-9434). Or call Bernie direct at (925) 899-8449.

Mechanics Lien for Washington Law Summary:  For a more detailed discussion of Washington mechanics liens.

 


 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO FILE A WASHINGTON MECHANIC’S LIEN

Step 1.  Fill-out and Print

These mechanic’s lien templates automatically capture your info and print the lien in final form. Bonus feature:  Keep on your desktop: it is re-usable for other non-paying jobs.

Amount of Washington mechanic’s lien:  In determining what you can include, insert: 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 Washington lien foreclosure suit.

Do not reduce for customer discounts—it is rarely productive when it comes to being paid the final draw and you can actually lose respect in the process.  You are not bound by initially agreeing to perform items without charge–this was 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:  While performing tenant improvement work on a small shopping center, in a gesture of good faith you furnish the following extras without charge: a) candilever overhang for the store front, b) replacing faux brick veneer panels on the south wall with more expensive limestone, and c) a small retaining wall (together with drain rock, filter fabric and drainage) on the slope above the rear parking lot. Then you never got paid the last installment on the contract. If you supplied labor only, your Washington lien will add in the hourly rate under the contract. If labor and material, use cost-plus or T & M amounts in the lien.

Exclude the following:  A mechanics lien in Washington 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 the interruption; or anything else not constituting actual labor and materials improving the property.  In other words, only those elements that go into an improvement of the property.

Note:  Including unauthorized amounts can invalidate a Washington mechanics lien.  Call us if you have any questions.

Step 2.  Sign and Notarize

 The lien can be signed by anyone who has knowledge of the general services rendered and the costs incurred.  It does not have to be someone in the field—in other words, it can be by office personnel. For example, this could be a manager, bookkeeper, controller, job foreman, project manager, owner, co-owner, or partner. All recorded documents must be notarized.

Step 3.  Look-up Recorder’s Office

 Recording a mechanics lien in Washington is at the county auditor level, not state or city.  See “Where?” above for the name of your State’s recorder. Do a Google search for the county in which the project is located.  Example: “[Name] County Clerk Recorder Register of Deeds”. Call to verify the fee and recorder’s address. Give them the city where the work was done–sometimes it is filed in different branch offices.  If you don’t know the county, Google the city—even small towns have a Wikipedia listing describing the county. Use the cover letter provided. Send the original and one copy with a stamped self-addressed return envelope.  Or, just call us and we will find out.

Is a legal description required?  In many counties it is not, but if they do, we will look it up for free with any purchase.

Step 4.  Mail

Regular mail to the recorder.  Overnight if close to the filing deadline. If a general contractor, serve the Washington mechanics lien on the owner with a copy certified mail. If a sub or supplier, serve the owner and general with a copy certified mail. Fill-out and staple as the last page the Proof of Service (this comes with your form–it shows proof of mailing to the owner and/or general contractor).

You Are  Done!

Call us if you have any questions about a mechanics lien in Washington—we’ll walk you through it. (800) 995-9434; (925) 899-8449.

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