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Mechanic’s Lien Law–Copy to the Lender?

 In Mechanic’s Lien Law Updates and News

We are all familiar with the basics of serving a certified copy of your mechanic’s lien upon various persons. For example, if you are a general contractor, you would always serve the lien upon the owner and/or their representative. Correspondingly, if you are a subcontractor or supplier, you would serve a copy of the mechanic’s lien on the general contractor and the owner. If you are even further down the chain, for example having a contract with another sub, then you would serve that subcontractor, the general, and the owner. But what about the construction lender?

In most cases, there is no legal requirement of doing so. There are some minor exceptions, for example in California the preliminary 20-day notice is to be served upon a construction lender if you are the general contractor. In most states this is not required. But should it be done anyway?

First, assuming there is such a lender, giving them a copy would not be prohibited and does not constitute defamation or slander of title. You are simply giving them a copy of a publicly recorded document.

But there are other independent reasons why you might want to do so. Remember, all projects have to be closed-out at the end and the construction lender usually handles this process. They asked for final waivers, conduct inspections, and otherwise satisfy themselves that all payments have been made to the contractors. If they get wind of the fact that you have not been paid, they could very well put pressure on the owner or general contractor.

So by all means, assuming you have the information, consider serving such a notice. You might also include a copy of a letter that explains the services performed, copies of invoices, and other information that would demonstrate your entitlement to payment and justify your lien.

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