If you don't routinely file mechanics' liens, abiding by the statutory requirements of the mechanics' lien statute can be a daunting task. Further, the online lien services often times do not help the lien claimant avoid these common perils:
1) File and Serve on time. South Carolina law dictates that a mechanics' lien must be filed and served on the property owner within 90 days of the lien claimant's last date of work. SC Code Ann. 29-5-90
2) Put your License Number on the lien. To file a mechanics' lien, a contractor must provide the county clerk of court or register of deeds proof that he is licensed or registered if he is required by law to be licensed or registered. As proof of licensure or registration, the contractor must record his contractor license number or registration number on the lien document when the lien document is filed. SC Code Ann. 29-5-15(A)
3) Foreclose on time. South Carolina law requires that the lien claimant "perfect" its lien claim by filing suit to foreclose on its lien within 6 months of the lien claimant's last date of work. SC Code Ann. 29-5-120(A)
4) File a Lis Pendens on time. Not more than 20 days before you file suit to foreclose and no later than 6 months from the lien claimant's last date of work, a Notice of Pendency of the action (a "Lis Pendens") must be filed. SC Code Ann. 29-5-120(A) and SC Code Ann. 15-11-10
5) Avoid Technical Mistakes. Since mechanics' lien are statutory in nature, they are generally "strictly construed" which means that the lien claimant is required to follow the letter of the law. Accordingly, even some small mistakes can result in your lien being denied if you are not careful.
Don't be a cautionary tale - if you are thinking about filing a lien, let Townes B. Johnson III, LLC help you avoid these pitfalls!