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Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Miami, Florida

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What is the deadline to foreclose upon a construction lien?

When Miami businesses are wronged by others, there are legal options available to enforce the business’s rights. For instance, businesses have options available when a breach of construction contract threatens their bottom line.

As discussed last week in this blog, one of the most useful weapons when it comes to construction litigation is the filing of a construction lien. Holders of a construction lien can seek to foreclose the lien against the property, but only if certain requirements are followed.

Typically, liens are not effective after 1 year from the date on which the lien was recorded. Accordingly, if the holder of the lien does not file a lawsuit to foreclose upon the property and the lien within that time period, the lien will be lost as a matter of law.

Florida law also allows the foreclosure period to be shortened by the property owner. For instance, if the property owner serves a notice of contest of lien, the foreclosure period can be reduced to 60 days. Likewise, if the owner or another interested party files a lawsuit impacting the lien, the foreclosure period can be reduced to a period of just 20 days.

As a result, it is vital that businesses who are impacted by construction liens understand how the Florida statutes work. There are strict deadlines and other requirements that must be complied with in order to properly foreclose upon a construction lien, and if these requirements are not followed, the construction lien itself will no longer be enforceable. This can mean that subcontractors, suppliers or others with the lien may not get paid if the proper process is not followed, which can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars or more are hanging in the balance. Given what is at stake, everyone involved should have a firm handle on the legal requirements to protect and defend their rights.

Source: The 2015 Florida Statutes, “Chapter 713,” accessed on Oct. 17, 2015

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