Below is an overview of the preliminary steps for filing a mechanic’s lien in the state of North Carolina.
- Upfront Notice:
- Notice of Subcontract:
- Required of 2nd and 3rd tier subcontractors and suppliers in order to have property lien rights if the Contractor files and posts a Notice of Contract.
- A Lien on Real Property (vs. a Lien against Funds) can be nullified if the Contractor posts and files a Notice of Contract and informs those who submitted a Notice of Subcontract of all payments to first tier subcontractors.
- There is no deadline for sending the Notice of Subcontract but it is recommended it be sent as soon as possible so that the requirement to inform you of payments goes into effect.
- If the contractor does not thereafter inform you of payments within 5 days, you retain your real property lien rights.
- Notice to Lien Agent:
- Required on all commercial jobs where the total job cost at the time the original building permit is issued is over $30,000.
- Where possible this is filed on the “LiensNC” Website.
- If this job isn’t posted on the website, the Owner is contacted and Lien Agent contact information is requested.
- If the job is still not posted on the LiensNC website, the Notice to Lien Agent is faxed, emailed or mailed to the Lien Agent contact information provided by the Owner.
- This should be filed within 15 days of first furnishing labor or material on the job.
- Otherwise, it must be filed before the property is conveyed to a purchaser to retain lien rights.
- If the job is not posted on the LiensNC website and the Owner does not provide Lien Agent contact information, this notice is not required.
- Follow-up Notice: There is no statutory follow-up notice.
- Same as for Commercial except the “Notice to Lien Agent” is not required if Owner resides in the property.
- Upfront Notice:
- Notice of Public Subcontract:
- Required within 75 days of first delivery.
- Not required on jobs up to $20,000. Regardless of this, BICA will send this notice for all public jobs, in case the amount later increases.
- Required of all subcontractors, including those in contract with Contractor.
- BICA will send a “combo notice” which contains:
- Notice of Public Subcontract
- Request for Copy of Payment Bond:
- The request for the Payment Bond is included because if it is not provided within 7 days, you are released from the 75 day restriction.
- Request for Project Statement:
- If not provided to BICA, the Project Statement is requested as it identifies the correct parties to receive notices, such as the agent assigned by the Contractor to receive the Notice of Public Subcontract.
- When the Project Statement is received by BICA, we will re-verify the recipient names and addresses and if needed resend the Notice of Public Subcontract.
- Follow-up Notice (if not paid):
- Notice to Contractor (of Claim on Payment Bond):
- Required of 2nd tier and lower subcontractors.
- Required within 120 days of last delivery.
- This notice is available on the BICA member portal.
Throughout our site you can find more resources on the process of filing mechanic’s liens and preliminary notices. If you’re ready to get started, be sure to reach out to us on our contact page, or call us at (800) 722-2422.