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Maryland's Mechanic's Lien Statute

A mechanic’s lien is a claim or hold against real property by contractors or subcontractors who conducted work or supplied material to improve the property but were not paid for their work or materials.  A properly filed Mechanics’ Lien may preclude the property from being sold, transferred or mortgaged without first satisfying the mechanics’ lien.  An additional remedy allows a foreclosure action, forcing the sale of the property.  Thereby, a mechanic’s lien can be an effective and highly desired tool to collect outstanding debt. 

To ensure a valid mechanic’s lien claim the following requirements must be met:  (1) the services or materials supplied by the contractor or subcontractor must have improved the building or property by at least 15% of its value; (2) the contractor or subcontractor has not been paid for the services or materials; (3) a Notice of Intent to Lien must be served on the correct property owner or owners within 120 days of the contractor’s or subcontractor’s last day of work or date of last delivery and, (4) a Petition to Establish a Lien must be filed in the circuit court for the county in which the property is located within 180 days of the contractor’s or subcontractor’s last day of work or date of last delivery.  Maryland Code Annotated, Real Property §9-104(a). 

The required contents of a notice of intent to lien and a petition to establish a lien are set forth in Maryland Code Annotated, Real Property.  As clear and simple as the requirements might appear, it is surprising how many issues that can arise in determining the correct property owner, in providing a property description that is satisfactory to the court, establishing the 15% value, establishing the last day of work, the sufficiency of the attached exhibits in support of the petition, and so forth.  If any piece of information is omitted or somehow insufficient, the claim will fail.

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