Enforcing a mechanics lien in Missouri

On Behalf of | May 10, 2023 | Construction Law |

If you are in a position where you have to enforce a lien, you must instigate and open an enforcement action or lien foreclosure. Knowledge of the law is helpful for anyone who faces this situation in Missouri.

What is the process like?

With lien foreclosure action, remember that this is a type of lawsuit. As with other lawsuits, you must draft, file and serve the legal action to make it official. The rules for how this must be done may vary depending on the construction law in the jurisdiction where the lien occurred.

A lien foreclosure action is not a decision to make lightly because it tends to be complex with many parties involved. You might not even be familiar with everyone participating in the suit.

The process is usually as lengthy as it is costly. There are also stringent rules that must be followed to get through issues in the procedure. In extreme cases, someone may be forced to sell their property.

Successful lawsuits may mean recovered fees

The good news is that if you win the lawsuit, you might recover court costs and attorney fees. But remember that these expenses won’t be covered until the suit ends. And if you’re not successful, you’re likely to never see that money again.

This type of legal action proceeds the way other lawsuits do. Every necessary party has to be listed as a defendant. This then must be filed in court. Once the foreclosure suit has been drafted, all parties must be served this document.

Next, the defendants are allowed time to respond to these allegations. Information is exchanged in the discovery phase, motions are filed in court and finally, judgment is reached in a trial.

The enforcement of a mechanics lien claim is rarely necessary. In the vast majority of cases, the settlement of a foreclosure lawsuit happens a long time before the trial ever happens. The rareness of mechanics lien claims is owed to a combination of how expensive it is, how long it may take and the fact that it might result in the forced sale of property.