The LiensNC website is a collaborative effort of NIC Services, LLC (NIC) and LiensNC, LLC (LLC) to provide a web-based online system to facilitate the filing of notices to the mechanics lien agents (MLA). The singular goal of this massive effort is to make the filing and finding of MLA notices as simple and as fast as possible for all users.This has been a joint effort of the title insurance underwriter members of the LLC.
The mechanics' lien agent system was created by NC Session Law 2012-158, which was signed into law in July 2012, amended by Session Law 2013-16. The legislation was enacted to address the so-called 'hidden lien' problem associated with construction projects. Existing mechanics' lien law had no mechanism for contractors, subcontractors or suppliers to publish their participation in a project. Consequently, purchasers, lenders and closing attorneys would be unable to determine who had worked on a construction project and deserved to be paid - often until long after closing.
The mechanics' lien agent system allows (but does not require) potential lien claimants to give notice they are working on a project. Then closing attorneys, lenders and purchasers will have the ability to address those known potential interests at closing.
The law went into effect on April 1, 2013.
It involves a simple 3-step process:
Step 1 - Appointment of Lien Agent: When a construction project is contracted, the owner of the property (or their contractor on their behalf) designates a Lien Agent, identifying the property and any pre-permit contractors or subcontractors, including design professionals (architects, engineers, surveyors and landscape architects) who have worked on the property. (Appointments are not required for improvements under $30,000 or to the owner's existing residence or for public building projects.)
Step 2 - Notice to Lien Agent: Contractors and subcontractors (potential lien claimants) can then give notice that they wish to preserve their lien rights to the lien agent at any time before, during or after they have provided lienable labor, services, materials or rental equipment to the property. So long as this notice is prior to conveyance to a third party or mortgage to an unaffiliated lender (or within 15 days of the potential lien claimant's first furnishing to the property, if later), the potential lien claimant has preserved the priority of any right it has to seek a claim of lien on the property under the existing mechanics' lien law.
Step 3 - Search for Filings: Filings above can then be found through the system, including the contact and other information reported in the system by the above users. This allows all users to better monitor their construction projects and protect parties at closing.
We encourage you to consult the Guide pages and provide feedback regarding the use of this site, and send us your suggestions for how we can improve the LiensNC system.