Filing a Mechanic’s Lien in Colorado

colorado state capital buildingIf you’re concerned about getting paid for work that you’ve done on a construction job, you may be considering recording a mechanic’s lien. If the project was in Colorado, you’ll need to take care in how and when you record the lien.

The Colorado process to properly record and perfect a mechanic’s lien, like many states, is a deadline intensive one. Missing a deadline or not taking a specific action in the defined process can result in you forfeiting your right to lien.

The good news is that the mechanic’s lien process in Colorado isn’t as convoluted as it is in some other states. Following the process is fairly straightforward.

Mechanic’s Lien Filing in Colorado

Like most states, Colorado requires that your statement of mechanic’s lien be recorded with the
county clerk in the county where the construction project is located.

Regardless of the details of the lien itself, all mechanic’s liens in Colorado must be recorded no more than 4 months after the lien claimant’s last substantial work was done on the project. In other words, if you complete your work on April 14th, but you come back on April 20th to do a
final clean up, your statement of mechanic’s lien must be filed within 4 months of April 14th.

The deadline is the same whether you are a contractor or subcontractor on the job. If you are a materials supplier, the lien should be filed within 4 months of the delivery of materials to the project. Note: Lower tier suppliers (such as a supplier to a supplier) do not have rights under the
Colorado mechanic’s lien statute.

Before recording the lien, however, you must first serve a notice of intent to file a mechanic’s lien.

Providing Notice of Intent to Lien

Prior to recording a lien, however, you must serve a notice of your intent to lien. As with the mechanic’s lien itself, the notice of intent has a very specific timeline attached to it.

Notice of your intent to lien must be served on the property owner (who is in title as of the date the notice of intent is served) and principal contractor at least 10 days prior to recording the lien. The notice of intent should be served in person or mailed using registered or certified mail with return receipt.

Keep a copy of the notice, and any receipts associated with sending it. Liens have been canceled because notice was not appropriately provided.

Extending the Deadline for a Mechanic’s Lien in Colorado

It is possible to extend the deadline for recording your mechanic’s lien in Colorado if you have the need. The notice of extending time to file a mechanic's lien must be recorded with the county clerk where the construction project is located in the same timeframe as you would need
to record the lien – four months from the last date of substantial work or material delivery.

An extension buys you additional time to file a lien and does not require notice to be sent before the extension is requested. It extends the deadline for filing to 4 months after completion of the project or 6 months after the extension is recorded, whichever comes first.

Enforcement or Cancellation

The hope, of course, is that the lien itself is enough to prompt payment for your services, and in many instances, that’s the case.

If, however, the lien has not had the desired outcome, you must begin the process of enforcement. You have 6 months from the completion of the project to initiate a mechanic’s lien foreclosure action in the state district court in the county of the project.

Although not as complicated as some lien processes, Colorado does have strict timelines that must be followed closely to preserve your rights. Be sure to keep close records of dates and proof of filings until the debt is satisfied to help support your lien. Contact us if you are located in
Denver and will need assistance.