How to Write a Lien

No business person likes the collection end of a service or sale. But in many cases, collection becomes a necessary part of the job. Here are some tips for writing a lien when your outstanding bill must be levied against the home or property of a client with a delinquent account.

Step 1

Start with a visit to your local cerk of court, who can guide you through the steps to filing a lien. The specifics will vary with each industry and state.

Step 2

You may also obtain help from any of several paid business software programs, downloadable from the Internet. Some examples appear below.

Step 3

Be sure to include the following pieces of information in your lien: The name, company name and address (including county) of the property owner against whom your lien is filed; the same information about the delinquent client, if different; the beginning and ending dates of the unpaid service; the due date for payment; and all associated fees including lien filing fees, lien removal fees, payment for your time to apply and remove the lien, late fees and finance charges.

Step 4

Consider showing your statement of lien to a property lawyer to be sure it is accurate and complete, particularly if you are new to writing liens.

Step 5

File your lien with the clerk of court or official recorder in your county.

Tip

A lien is a serious legal action. There are many collection steps that should be taken prior to filing a lien, to give a delinquent client every opportunity to meet his or her financial obligation, and to spare you the time and expense of filing. Consult your clerk of court, an attorney, or your business software for a breakdown of these steps and associated letters or forms.

Warning

Once a client has fulfilled the necessary obligation to remove a lien, it is your responsibility to formally release the lien from the property in question. To fail to do so causes undue hardship to the property owner.

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