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                                                              Facts to Remember

When?  

 General Contractors / Design Professionals (if your contract is with the owner): File the Iowa lien within 90 days of completion of the overall project.

Subcontractors/Suppliers (if your contract is with the prime or another sub): Record your Iowa lien within 90 days of your last furnishing  labor or materials to the project (your portion of the work).

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

 Where?  Under the new law, post/file the Iowa lien online with the Regisitry of the Secretary of State.

How Long Does it Stay on Record?  A mechanics lien in Iowa stays 2 years and 90 days after your last furnishing labor or materials.  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 Iowa 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).

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

 


 

 

 

 

HOW TO FILE AN IOWA MECHANIC’S LIEN

Step 1.  Fill-out and Print

 Complete the PDF “fillable” mechanic’s lien template.  It automatically captures data and prints the lien in final form. Bonus feature:  Keep on your desktop: it is re-usable for other non-paying jobs.

Amount of Iowa 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 Iowa 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 Iowa 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 Iowa 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.

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

Step 2.  Sign and Notarize

 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 Iowa is at the county 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.

Legal description required? Most counties don’t require it, 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 Iowa 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 (it shows proof of mailing to the owner and/or general contractor).

You’re  Done!

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

 

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