Recent Changes in Georgia Materialmen's Lien Laws

During the 2009 legislative session the Georgia General Assembly made several substantial revisions and changes to existing laws concerning mechanics liens, or materialmen's liens. These changes, which will take effect on March 31, 2009, are important for all contractors, subcontractors, and laborers who rely on materialmen's liens. Some of the key changes are as follows:

1) One of the biggest changes is putting all deadlines in terms of number of days instead of months. For example, the deadline to file a lien is now 90 days. The previous law allowed three months. While this may seem like a small change, relying on the previous law could result in missing the deadline to file a lien by only a day.

2) The previous law also required that a lawsuit to perfect the lien must be filed within one year from the date the lien became due. Under the new law, a person has 365 days to file a lawsuit from the date of filing the lien. This means the new deadline to file suit allows up to 90 more days to file a lawsuit on the lien, depending on how long a person takes in initially filing a lien.

3) Another change in the law requires a person claiming a lien to send a copy of the lien to the contractor or owner within two business days of when the claim is filed. Under the previous law, a claimant was required to send a copy of the lien at the time of filing.

These are only some of the important changes made recently regarding materialmen's liens in Georgia. In order to fully understand and ensure compliance with the new laws, it may be best for you to contact an attorney with expertise and experience in this area. Failure to conform to the new laws could result in you inability to recover damages on a default lien. Attorneys at Coleman and Chambers have been experts in the area of materialmen's liens for several years, and are prepared to answer any questions you may have.