This article was originally published on December 31, 2012. It was updated on December 29, 2016.
If you’ve had a mechanics lien rejected, I can tell you that you’re not the only one.
Consider the lien that went to the Georgia supreme court and was deemed void, because of a typo. Georgia liens require a specific sentence to be included in at least 12-point boldfaced font. The lien in question contained such a sentence but said “365 days” instead of “395 days” and failed to include the word “action.” The lien was invalidated.
We also wrote a whole series on Lien Horror Stories, highlighting four different stories of liens being rejected.
The whole lien process is highly bureaucratic, and small mistakes can derail your success at any step along the way, from sending notices to filing and releasing a lien. Here’s an incomplete list of mistakes that can lead a country recorder to reject your lien:
- Page margins
- Font size and type
- Placement of specific text on the page
- Incorrect legal description
- Minor typo
- Insufficient legal fees (of less than $1)
- Incorrect payment type (business checks, attorney checks, money orders)
- Special requirements for the first page of the document are missing
When you order a mechanics lien or bond claim from zlien, all of your work is done for you- our system prepares the form, we sign it as your agent, and we coordinate with the county to have the document filed and served. It is our pleasure to make the tedious task easy, and we even take care of your filing fees and all correspondence with the occasionally unpredictable recorders’ offices. Click here to file a document through zlien in just a few minutes.
zlien‘s documents are compliant with every state’s lien statutes, and our JobSight team researches every town/parish/county clerk’s filing procedures prior to sending all documents for recording. Still, even we cannot predict every single time a county will reject a document. Sometimes clerks record anything that comes before them, and other times, well, they can be picky.
Here are some of my favorite rejections that I’ve come across at zlien:
- A rejected lien was returned to us due to the ‘condition’ of the document, which clearly had liquid spilled on it after it had been opened by the recorder.
- When electronically filing, a lien was rejected because the notary stamp was ‘not dark enough.’ I then resubmit the lien without making any adjustments to the darkness of the already dark stamp, and the lien was recorded in minutes (take that!).
- In Florida, the filing fees are fairly standard across the state, but I still called the county to confirm the usual $10.00 for the first page and $8.50 for each additional page fees. I even confirmed the amount on their ‘high tech’ Fee Calculator while I was waiting for a clerk to answer my call. Once the document was received, it was rejected for insufficient fees because they require a $0.60 abstracter fee that is not referenced online or relayed to callers.
- When electronically recording in Illinois, a lien was rejected because there was ‘no legal description.’ The lien had a paragraphed labeled “Legally Described As” with a full legal description listed. To correct this matter, I set the already-present legal description to a bold font, and it was recorded minutes later.
The list is endless, and do not put it past clerks to reject a document more than once or for reasons that are beyond their judgement.
zlien is an authorized e-recorder in more than 800 counties across the country, and if the clerk’s office does not support electronic filing, documents are sent via FedEx either directly to the recorder or to a local courier. We track the progress of our documents sent for recording by contacting the clerks and/ or searching their databases online.
With just the basic information about your construction project, the zlien team will take care of your order from start to finish, and you can forget about everything else!