By Alexander Barthet

A claim of lien may be recorded at any time during the progress of the work but never later than 90 days after last furnishing labor or materials. (Obtain your own Calc-u-Lien to be able to calculate these deadlines). A lien holder must also file separate claims of lien for work done under separate direct contracts between an owner and contractor. As an example, a contractor was required to file two claims of lien, one for construction work and then another for subsequent repair work, even though both the construction and repair work were done on the same structure. This was because the construction and then the repairs were performed under two distinct contracts.
Okay, you’ve recorded your lien within the required 90 days; now can you amend your claim of lien? Maybe, since this must be done during the period allowed for recording the original claim of lien and as long as (there always seems to be an “as long as” with these legal issues) the amendment does not cause someone relying on the original claim of lien to be impaired. So if you recorded your claim on the 90th day, you will be out of luck. Any amendment of the claim of lien must be recorded in the same manner as required for the recording of the original claim of lien.
All that said, be aware that amending a defective claim of lien does not necessarily render it enforceable. Because you will generally only have one opportunity to record and serve a claim of lien (too often filed quickly on the 89th or 90th day), be careful and get it right the first time.

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