attorneys and counselors at law


The Michigan Construction Lien Act (CLA) specifies that those who provide improvements to real property shall have a lien against the property to secure payment for sums owed to them.  If a lien is filed against the property, the lien claimant may file a lawsuit to have the property foreclosed and sold to satisfy the debt owed.

Although the state law and the Courts specifically indicate that the CLA is to be liberally construed to protect persons who provide labor, services or materials (“lien claimants”), there are still many requirements in the law that must be met in order to protect your lien rights.  Normally, a notice of commencement must be filed with the register of deeds and posted at the site by the owner or lessee of the land improved. This notice provides the name of the person that is to be served with documents pertaining to the work being performed. A notice of furnishing should be submitted to the owner or lessee of the property by a lien claimant who does not have a direct contract with the owner or lessee. This puts the owner on notice that this person should be paid before making final payment to a contractor that does have a direct contract with the owner.  A sworn statement should be submitted by a lien claimant. The sworn statement identifies all those whom the lien claimant has subcontracted to provide labor or services. Finally, the lien claimant must file a claim of lien with the register of deeds for the property where the work was performed to establish or “perfect” the lien.

The law provides important time lines that must be followed in order to have a valid lien and right to foreclose  on the property to obtain payment for the lien claimant’s work or materials provided at the property. For example, the following guidelines are some, but not all important time requirements:

Claim of lien:

must be filed with the register of deeds within 90 days of
After the lien claimant’s last day of providing goods or services at the property;

filing suit to foreclose:

within one year of filing the claim of lien

discharging a lien:

after payment of the lien amount


This is a very brief discussion of construction lien law. Please contact Brown & Brown, PLC for more information about this topic. Our firm has had numerous successful recoveries in construction lien law cases. Brown and Brown, PLC have, and continue to represent commercial companies and individuals in construction lien law matters.

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