By Alex Barthet
Do you know who is supposed to prepare and sign a claim of lien? You better know, as having the wrong person do it can open one up to certain liability and even invalidate the claim of lien.
Can You Prepare & Sign That Claim of Lien?
Specifically, a claim for a construction lien in Florida should only be prepared by the lienor, the lienor’s employee or the lienor’s attorney licensed to practice law in the state, and that claim of lien should only be signed by the lienor or its authorized agent. The preparation of a claim of lien for third parties, in the state of Florida, is considered the practice of law. If someone prepares a construction claim of lien other than the actual lienor or its attorney, then that party will, in Florida, be found to be engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. Moreover, and potentially devastating, is that such a practice could cause the claim of lien to run afoul of the fraudulent lien laws and completely invalidate the lien’s effectiveness.
Watch for mistakes in the claim of lien as well, utilizing parties unfamiliar with the lien process or the specifics of a lien claim could lead to mistakes. For example, not listing the correct name of all parties in interest or the correct legal description of the property being liened could be as problematic as not having proper start and end dates for the lienor’s services, or worse having dates that fall outside the time frame requirements imposed by the applicable statute.
Validating your lien through the proper and timely insertion of all needed information is the first step. Seeing that the claim of lien is prepared and signed by a party authorized to do so will then ensure that it remains enforceable and allow you to secure payment for those unpaid services or materials.
Refer to the leading publication on Florida’s lien law to properly and timely prepare your claims of lien.