In our firm, we do quite a bit of lien preparation and lien filings for our clients. This is very important now as we are heading into the beginning months of the winter.
As many will notice, most construction sites are (if they haven’t already) buttoning up their projects for winter protection. During this period, most contractors are sending in their current invoices and naturally there can be some delay due to the holidays, inclement weather, illness, traveling issues, etc. In Oregon, contractors have the statutory 75 days to file their lien against a project for non-payment. This action applies to contract work (including change order work) performed by the contractor. However, please understand in most cases, punchwork is not included as a way to “toll” the 75 day requirement.
In the construction world as I am sure every contractor will agree, 75 days is a light switch away, so we urge clients to always file their lien no later than the 65th day, that way it will minimize any potential timing defense. So for all the contractors out there reading our blogs, please make sure when closing down a project for the winter months, you are paid up to date and don’t risk losing your rights and abilities to lien the project.
As for the remedies after the lien, we typically work with clients in their attempt to negotiate a settlement as proceeding forward, perfecting the lien in a foreclosure action is both time consuming and very expensive. However, sometimes that’s the only answer. However though, please realize that the statute in Oregon requires that the perfecting (foreclosure) of the lien has a 120 day deadline between the date you file the lien and the date the foreclosure action is filed. On this timing issue, we always urge clients to file no later than 100 days, rather than file too close to the expiration of the 120 day deadline. This again prevents any defense related to timing. As always, there are some exceptions to the rules, but not usually and not many.
Slingshot Legal Services assists contractors with the pre-lien notices, lien preparation and filing and the lien filing as well as all post lien notices. Please call or e-mail us if you feel our services may be of value to your company.
This blog is not meant in any way to suggest any legal inference or legal advice, it is simply opinion based on experience. Please seek advice of a qualified, licensed attorney should you seek legal guidance.