Wisconsin’s construction lien law gives contractors, subcontractors, laborers, and material suppliers the right to file construction liens against the property they have worked on if they are not paid. Placing a lien on a property is one way in which payment can be collected.
The law, however, imposes strict notice requirements and deadlines that are traps for the unwary. The following timeline provides an overview of the notices and filings that contractors must follow to preserve their lien rights. Contractors will lose their lien right if these deadlines are not met.
10 Day Notice
Prime Contractors must either include notice in the contract or send preliminary notice within 10 days of beginning work.
5 Month Notice
At least 30 days before a lien can be filed, a contractor must provide a notice of intent to file a lien. Since a lien must be filed within 6 months of the last day of work, the notice of intent to lien has a 5 month deadline.
A Wisconsin mechanics lien claim must be filed within 6 months from the date the lien claimant furnished its last labor or materials. If this deadline is not complied with, the contractor loses its lien rights.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A CONTRACTOR FILES A LIEN?
Nothing. Contractors must file suit to foreclose on the lien. The contractor has two years from the date of the lien to do so.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A CONTRACTOR FAILS TO TIMELY FILE A LIEN?
Although lien rights are an important tool in securing payment owed for work, all is not lost if the deadlines are missed. In most instances, the contractor would still have the ability to bring claims for breach of contract.
MURDOCK LAW, S.C. IS HERE TO HELP WITH CONSTRUCTION LIENS
Filing a construction lien can be a tricky process, but we are here to help. Give us a call at 884-744-7529 so we can get to work for you.