An Alaska mechanic’s lien is a legal contract used by subcontractors and suppliers to collect payment for unpaid work performed on a property. By placing a lien on the estate, the worker makes a public claim to the property in the amount they are owed. This hinders the owner’s ability to sell or refinance the property, as lenders and buyers are often unwilling to move forward on a property until all liens are cleared. While the vast majority of liens are paid before foreclosure occurs, if left unpaid, the contractor can escalate the lien to a lawsuit.
A great feature of the mechanic’s lien is that it works regardless of who the worker entered into a contract with. For example, even if the worker relied on the general contractor (GC) for payment, they can escalate their claim to the owner of the real estate with the lien.
Although recommended, Alaska law does not require contractors to send a preliminary notice at the start of their work. Once the subcontractor completes the lien and has their signature notarized, they will need to have the form recorded at the Recorder’s Office in the county the property is located in.
Laws & Requirements
- Laws: Title 34, Ch. 35, Art. 2
- Signing requirements – The claimant’s signature must be notarized.
- Time limit for recording lien (§ 34-35-068): 120 days (if a “Notice of Completion” was filed, the worker has fifteen (15) days to file the lien).
- Deadline for enforcing lien (§ 34-35-080): Six (6) months.