A Maine mechanic’s lien is a claim made by a tradesperson to demand unpaid wages for services rendered on a construction project. A lien will grant the claimant a security interest in the property and prevent the owner from selling it or using it as equity until they have paid the claimant in full. Owners of a property with a lien will typically pay their debts as soon as possible, though a lien may be enforced by foreclosure if necessary.
Claimants without a direct contract with the owner (i.e., subcontractors) must file a notice of their intent to lien at the office of the registry of deeds within ninety (90) days of completing work (§ 3253(1)). The notice must be notarized and include the statement provided in § 3255(3), with a copy thereof delivered to the owner. In accordance with § 3252, the owner may prevent a lien by providing the claimant a written notice that they will not be responsible for any labor, services, or materials supplied.
Both claimants with direct and indirect contracts will need to file their lien with the Superior Court or District Court in the county where the property is situated. Within sixty (60) days of filing the lien, the claimant should record in the registry of deeds a certificate of the court clerk, an affidavit, or an attested copy of the lien (§ 3261(2)). A lien is not invalidated if the claimant does not record in the registry of deeds, though failure to record means a bona fide purchaser may purchase the property free of lien.