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General Contractors / Design Professionals (That is, if your contract is with the owner): File your Minnesota lien within 120 days of the last furnishing of labor or materials to the project.
Subcontractors/Suppliers (if your contract is with the prime or another sub): Record the Minnesota lien within 120 days of completion of your last furnishing labor or materials to the project (your portion of the work).
Who? A mechanic’s lien in Minnesota is cognizable for a wide range or persons: General contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, renters of equipment, architects, engineers, and land surveyors.
Where? File in the Recorder or Registrar of Titles Office (in county where work / material furnished).
How Long Does it Stay on Record? A mechanics lien in Minnesota stays viable 1 year after your last furnishing labor or materials to the project. 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota Law Summary: For a more detailed discussion of Minnesota mechanics liens.
HOW TO FILE A MINNESOTA 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. Special feature: Keep on your desktop: it is re-usable for other non-paying jobs.
Amount of Minnesota mechanic’s lien: All work and/or material supplied 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 (typically 8-9%). 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 subsequently if you are the prevailing party in the Minnesota lien foreclosure suit.
Do not reduce for freebies or customer 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. Typical 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 receive after demands the last installment on the contract. If you supplied labor only, your Minnesota 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 in the lien form: A mechanics lien in Minnesota 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.
Watch out. Including unauthorized amounts can invalidate a Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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).
Call us if you have any questions about a mechanics lien in Minnesota—we’ll walk you through it. (800) 995-9434; (925) 899-8449.