Understanding Utah's Preconstruction and Construction Lien Laws- Part 5
Posted on Sep. 6, 2012

Once a preconstruction lien or construction lien has been recorded, a lawsuit to foreclose the lien must be filed within 180 days following the day on which the lien was recorded.  Aside from the property encumbrance the lien provides, lien claimants who prevail on their lien foreclosure lawsuit are entitled to an award of their reasonable attorney fees and costs of court, in addition to any interest on the principal amount owed.  The award of reasonable attorney fees mitigates the high cost of litigation to foreclose a lien.

One of the potential disadvantages of filing a lien and seeking to foreclose on that lien is how it will affect the relationship between the contracted parties.  Regrettably, the reaction resulting from a lien filing is unpredictable.  The lien filing may polarize interests and cause tension on the project.  A lien claimant may be better off in a tense situation, however, than lose lien rights if a lien is not filed on time.  Moreover, although tension may result, the nonpaying party otherwise may have no incentive to satisfy an open account.

In conclusion, preconstruction and construction liens are powerful tools for the collection of outstanding debt as encumbrances on real property.  When used properly, the recorded lien offers considerable protection for the lien claimant.  Because lien rights are strictly limited by time and other filing requirements, lien claimants must be alert to the expiration of those rights.  The Utah legislature continues to substantially modify the lien laws on a yearly basis, so it is highly recommended that lien claimants consult with an attorney to stay current on developments and before attempting to file a lien.

Construction Law
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About Adam

Attorney Adam T. Mow

Adam is a trusted resource for architects, engineers and other members of the construction industry in litigation, risk management, contract negotiations and mechanics’ liens. Adam is also a licensed architect and a past president of the Utah chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He has been elected by his peers to the Utah Legal Elite since 2009.

Awards and Recognition

AV Rating

Excellence in the Study of Architecture, American Institute of Architects Certificate of Merit, 1999

CALI Award for Excellence in Mediation and Advanced Negotiation, 2003

Community Mediator of the Year, Utah Dispute Resolution, 2007

Graduate of the Last Decade, Ball State University, 2008

Utah Business Magazine, Legal Elite, 2009-Present

Mountain States Rising Stars (Construction Litigation), 2009-Present