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Mechanic’s Lien–Importance of a Legal Description

 In Mechanic’s Lien Law Updates and News

In recording your mechanic’s lien, we are all familiar with the basic contents, including a correct description of the owner, general contractor (if you are a subcontractor or supplier), the amount owed, the dates of starting and finishing construction, and other particulars. But how important is the legal description? In other words, not simply stating the common Street address.

By far, the best idea is to either call National Lien Law or the clerk’s office of the county in which you are recording a mechanic’s lien to determine how much of a legal description is required. There are essentially four types of clerk requirements.

The first simply requires you to insert the common Street address–no legal description.

The second kind requires you to insert the common Street address as well as the parcel number. That parcel number can easily be found online by going to the County Assessor’s Office under “property search”.

Then there are clerks that want more information other than the street address and parcel number. This usually includes the book and page number, by reference, of one of the important documents relating to the property. Typically a deed. The assessor’s office almost always has that information.

But then there are some clerks, definitely in the minority, that need a full metes and bounds description of the property for the mechanic’s lien. In that case, you either need to secure that from a title company or sometimes the assessor’s office will have a link giving that information. If that fails, simply pull up one of the recorded documents, including a mortgage or deed, for the property because it typically has a full legal description. It’s usually two or three pages.

So take your mechanic’s lien filing seriously and record with the information required by the clerk’s office.