Are you thinking about filing a Wisconsin Claim of Lien, but are unsure of where, or how to start? Knowing the basics and familiarizing yourself with the deadlines can make the difference between a lost opportunity and a successful experience. Wisconsin’s Lien Law is specific; however, when armed with a greater awareness of the lien laws, you can navigate the process smoothly and begin to secure outstanding payments.
The following is a summary of several of the key areas that will help you position your company to make sure that your job related accounts receivables are protected by these laws.
Wisconsin has a Fairly Open Policy When it comes to who can File a Claim of Lien
Wisconsin does not have strict laws pertaining to who can and cannot file a Claim of Lien. Any party who furnishes materials or labor in the alteration, erection, repair, or improvement of a building or structure is entitled to a Claim of Lien Rights. Subcontractors, architects, designers and even surveyors have rights if they have contributed to the project and visible construction has started.
A Preliminary Notice and Notice of Intent to File a Lien are Required by ALL Parties Involved
Under Wisconsin Lien Law, a Preliminary Notice and Notice of Intent to File a Lien are required by all parties contributing to the project through the furnishing of labor and/or materials. General Contractors are responsible for providing the Property Owner with a Preliminary Notice within 10 days of the date labor or materials were first delivered. Suppliers and subcontractors, on the other hand, are required to deliver a Preliminary Notice within the first 60 days. In addition, the Notice of Intent to File a Lien must be delivered at least 30 days before filing a Claim of Lien.
A Wisconsin Claim of Lien MUST Include a Legal Property Description
Failing to include a legal property description in your Wisconsin Claim of Lien is detrimental to the success of your Claim of Lien. Without it, your Claim of Lien is invalid and you forfeit your Claim of Lien Rights. Don’t make this mistake! Make sure to include a legal property description in your Claim of Lien and verify that the information is correct before you file and serve the Claim of Lien.
The Deadline to File a Claim of Lien is 6 Months
If you do not file a Claim of Lien within 6 months of the last date of providing labor and/or materials to a construction project, you forfeit your Lien Rights. Even if you do file a Claim of Lien within the 6 month deadline, it’s important to note that it must be Filed and Served at least 30 days after the Notice of Intent to File a Lien is filed. Failure to comply with both of these deadlines will result in the loss of your Lien Rights (as well as your payment).
Do Not Include Attorney’s Fees in Your Claim of Lien
Lien Claimants are not allowed to include attorney’s fees, lost profits, or any other damages in the amount of the lien. While these expenses may be recovered should your claim result in a court trial, the structure of the laws do not allow inclusion in the actual claim of lien.
We hope this article served to help you understand some of the basics of filing a Wisconsin Claim of Lien. For additional information on many tools you may consider to protect your Lien Rights, We recommend seeking counsel of an experienced attorney who practices the lien laws in the state of Wisconsin. In addition, using a Professional Preliminary Notice and Mechanics Lien Service to prepare and serve your Claims of Lien, Preliminary Notices, Notices of Intent to File a Lien and other notices, will help to ensure that the proper research is performed so your Wisconsin Lien Rights are not compromised due to any faulty processing or misinformation.
CRM Lien Services will thoroughly research and verify all of the information included in your Wisconsin Claim of Lien, Preliminary Notice, or Notice of Intent to File a Lien so your Lien Rights are fully protected. We stay current with the changes to the Wisconsin Lien Law so your notices are prepared according to the latest statutes.