What Is a Lien Release in Construction?

February 22, 2024

In construction, few things are as important as ensuring that proper procedures are followed throughout the duration of a project. For example, failure to properly and promptly release liens can lead to legal complications, delay payment, cause strained relationships among contractors, subcontractors, and property owners, and ultimately impact the overall project schedule and cost.

So what is a lien release in construction, and how can you make sure that your project is free of liens as you near completion?

Lien releases are a vital component of the payment process that assures all parties that work and materials have been provided for the agreed upon amount. They also serve as proof of payment, preventing disputes and potential lawsuits. In addition, they prevent liens from being filed in the future, which can significantly affect the property’s value and hinder its saleability.

Getting paid for your work on a project is great news, but if there’s a lien involved, you must make sure that the underlying mechanics lien claim notice is discharged as well. This can only happen once the release is properly prepared and submitted to the county clerk’s office for recording. To do this, you must submit the original, a copy and a money order for filing fees (if applicable) to the clerk where the lien was filed via hand delivery, certified or overnight mail.

Understanding and adhering to the statutory requirements for lien release procedures is crucial for all parties involved in construction projects, from contractors and subcontractors to property owners and lenders. Here are some of the reasons why.

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