Thursday, April 26, 2012

Real Estate Owner Research Can Be Critical to Your Lien: Make Sure you Do It.

With the economy still not back on track, every day we get more calls and emails asking about the filing of a mechanics lien or bond claim. With financing still shaky, and owners and contractors running out of money, non-payment issues abound.

At Lienitnow, we take the time to double check owner information. More often than you'd think, we find that the owner listed on the construction contract is not the same owner that holds the deed to the property. Sometimes, in homeowner cases, we will find that the owner listed on the contract does not actually own the property, his wife does, or another relative owns the property. In some cases, we've found that a nickname was used, rather than the legal name, on the residential construction contract.

On commercial projects, many of our clients assume that when they are building a Target or a Albertsons, that these companies are the actual owners of the properties. In fact it is rare for a large corporation to own a property on which their store is being built, and even rarer for the record name of the property owner to be the same as the parent company. 

This issue is more complicated when your work is only on a portion of a property that houses multiple street addresses. As is clear from the mechanic's lien statutes, failure to properly name the owner of the property can be fatal to the lien. With that in mind, finding out who owns the property is key.  

Whenever you file a mechanics lien, you should make sure that you have looked into and verified the owner of the property with the local government authority that keeps track of property ownership. At LienItNow.com, which provides mechanics lien filing services, the company performs this service for you, and verifies the owner with the county clerk.  If the owner you have is different that the one found by LienItNow, you can then make a decision as to whether you want to perform a title search to delve further into the issue.

Just be sure to double check the real estate owner information before you file your mechanics lien and you will be glad you did.

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