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File a Mechanics Lien in Wyoming and Collect Your Payment

File a Mechanics Lien in Wyoming and Collect Your Payment

November 24, 2020

A mechanics lien is a legal document that improves your chances of recovering payment from a delinquent client. Property owners are very wary of having a mechanics lien attached to their property’s records. Once a mechanics lien is filed, potential investors are less likely to buy or finance a property since it is understood to be riddled with outstanding debts.

This is why filing a mechanics lien is one of the best ways to deal with non-payment. Note, however, that filing a mechanics lien requires you to follow strict rules and requirements to ensure that your claim is valid and non-fraudulent.

This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of filing a mechanics lien in Wyoming, including some best practices to help you avoid committing common mistakes in recording a claim.

Who can file a mechanics lien in Wyoming?

Construction participants such as general contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers are allowed to file a Wyoming mechanics lien. Parties such as architects, engineers, and other construction designers also have lien rights in Wyoming.

Note that in order to preserve your lien rights, all potential lien claimants are required to serve a preliminary notice. Also note that prior to filing a mechanics lien, all lien claimants are likewise obligated to serve the property owner a notice of intent to lien.

Pre-lien notices in Wyoming

There are two important pre-lien notices in Wyoming: the preliminary notice – also called the Notice to Owner or the Notice of Right to Lien – and the Notice of Intent to Lien. Serving these pre-lien notices are very important in protecting your lien rights in the state.

Preliminary Notice

Who must serve a Wyoming preliminary notice?

All potential mechanics lien claimants – including general contractors, subcontractors, and materialmen – are required to serve a Wyoming preliminary notice.

What must be included in the preliminary notice?

The following information must be included in your Wyoming preliminary notice.

  • Your name, address, and telephone number
  • A description of the materials provided or work performed
  • A description of the property (e.g. street address)
  • A legal description of the property
  • Signature and the date of signing

Wyoming statutes also require the following preliminary notice template:

NOTICE TO OWNER

The undersigned party is providing work or materials to the property described below. Failure of payment due and owing to a contractor, subcontractor or materialman for work performed or materials provided to the project located on the property can result in the filing of a lien against the property. To avoid this result, when paying for labor and materials you may ask the contractor, subcontractor or materialman for “lien waivers” from all persons supplying materials or services. Failure to secure lien waivers may result in your paying for labor and materials twice. A form of lien waiver is attached to this notice.

Name, address and telephone number of contractor, subcontractor or materialman, and contact person:

MATERIALS PROVIDED OR WORK PERFORMED:
PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:
ADDRESS:
LEGAL DESCRIPTION:
SIGNED:
DATE:

Ensure that all statements written on the statutory form above are included in your Wyoming preliminary notice form.

When do you serve a preliminary notice?

The deadline for serving the preliminary notice in Wyoming depends on your role in a project:

  • General contractors must serve the preliminary notice prior to receiving the first payment from the property owner.
  • Other parties, including subcontractors and material suppliers, must serve the preliminary notice within 30 days of the date that they started furnishing labor or materials to a project.

Note that these deadlines are strictly enforced in Wyoming. You are not allowed to serve a preliminary notice beyond the applicable deadline.

Also note that the preliminary notice is best served via certified mail with return receipt requested. It is considered served at the time of mailing.

When do you serve a Preliminary Notice in Wyoming

What happens if you do not serve a preliminary notice?

You will lose your lien rights over the project if you do not serve the property owner with the required preliminary notice.

Notice of Intent to Lien

Who must serve a Wyoming notice of intent to lien?

All lien claimants must first serve a Notice of Intent to Lien prior to recording a Wyoming mechanics lien. Note that these lien claimants include general contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers.

What must be included in the notice of intent to lien?

The Notice of Intent to Lien must have the following pieces of information:

  • The name of the property owner
  • The date of serving the notice of intent
  • Your name (lien claimant)
  • The amount of the lien claim
  • The name of the party owing the amount

You may also add other details, such as the description of the services that you provided, in your Notice of Intent to Lien form.

Furthermore, Wyoming statutes recommended the following notice of intent to lien template:

CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED

To: ____________________________

Record owner or agent of owner (note: If there is more than one (1) owner, use a form for each owner)
Date: _______________, 20___

Re: Notice of Intention to File Lien

You are hereby notified pursuant to W.S. 29-2-107 that ______________________ (hereinafter the “lien claimant”) intends to file a lien against your property.
The amount of the lien claim is $_______________. This amount is due from _______________________ (person/entity whose actions have caused a lien to be filed) pursuant to a contract with the lien claimant under which the lien claimant performed work or supplied materials for the work.

If we are unable to resolve this matter within twenty (20) days from the date of this notice, the lien claimant intends to file the lien statement asserting a lien against your property.
cc: _________________________
_________________________
_________________________

When do you serve a notice of intent to lien?

The Wyoming Notice of Intent to Lien must be served at least 20 days prior to filing a mechanics lien. This deadline must be followed strictly. Be sure to serve the notice of intent early so you do not miss the deadline for filing the mechanics lien.

Like the preliminary notice, the Notice of Intent to Lien is best served via certified mail with return receipt requested. It is also considered served at the time of mailing.

When do you serve a Notice of Intent to Lien in Wyoming

What happens if you do not serve a notice of intent to lien?

You may not file a valid mechanics lien in Wyoming without first sending the property owner a notice of intention to record a mechanics lien. It is very important that you comply with the pre-lien notice requirements in Wyoming if you want to ensure that you can make a valid mechanics lien claim.

When do you file a Wyoming mechanics lien?

The deadline for filing a Wyoming mechanics lien depends on what you do in a project:

Wyoming mechanics lien deadlines

Property owners may file a Notice of Substantial Completion in Wyoming, and this can determine the date of project completion.

Note that the deadlines may not be extended, so be sure to file a mechanics lien before the applicable deadline elapses. Also note that your Notice of Intent to Lien must be served on the owner at least 20 days prior to the mechanics lien deadline; otherwise, you effectively revoke your lien rights.

How to file a mechanics lien in Wyoming

How to file a mechanics lien in Wyoming

1. Prepare your Wyoming mechanics lien form

According to Wyoming statutes, the following details must be included in your Wyoming mechanics lien form:

  • The name and address of the lien claimant;
  •  The amount claimed to be due;
  • The name and address of the property owner;
  • An itemized list describing the materials delivered or work performed;
  • The name of the person who is contractually responsible to pay the payment debt (hiring party);
  • The date when labor was last performed or services were last rendered or the date of substantial completion of the project;
  • The legal description of the property where the materials were furnished or upon which the work was performed; and
  • A copy of the contract, if available, or a summary of the lien claimant’s contract together with a statement of the location where a copy of the contract, if written, can be obtained.

Wyoming statutes also provide a mechanics lien template that you can fill out:

STATE OF _____________ )
) ss.

COUNTY OF _____________ )

LIEN STATEMENT

Pursuant to the provisions of W.S. 29-1-312 relating to lien statements, the undersigned hereby files this lien statement and swears as follows:

1. Name and address of lien claimant:
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________

2. The amount claimed to be due and owing: $____________, plus pre-judgment interest at a rate of _____% (if applicable), and attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by lien claimant in the collection of this amount.

3. The names and addresses of the persons against whose properties the lien is filed include:
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________

4. An itemized list setting forth and describing the work performed or materials furnished by the lien claimant:

The amounts due and owing from ________________________ for the work performed and/or materials provided are set forth in the actual invoices, or if no invoices exist, then a summary, attached hereto as Exhibit “A”.

5. The name of the persons whom the lien claimant asserts is/are obligated to pay the debt secured by the lien:
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________

6. The lien claimant last performed work, or furnished materials, for which the lien claimant asserts a lien on the ______ day of ______________, 20___.

7. The legal description of the real property where the lien claimant performed work or furnished materials is set forth in Exhibit “B”, attached hereto.

8. A true and accurate copy of the written contract, if available, under which the lien claimant performed work or furnished materials is attached hereto as Exhibit “C”. If the contract was oral or is too extensive, the parties to the contract and contract terms are described below:
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________

A copy of the written contract, if applicable, is located at the following address:
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________

DATED this ______ day of ______________, 20___.

Name of lien claimant: ______________________________
By: ______________________________
Signature: ______________________________
Title: ______________________________

Note to Notarial officer: If the lien claimant is a legal entity formed under Title 17 of the Wyoming Statutes or other applicable law, use the first jurat. If the lien claimant is an individual or sole proprietor, use the second jurat.

(Alternative 1:)

STATE OF __________________ )
) ss.

COUNTY OF __________________ )

On this _____ day of ______________, 20___, subscribed and sworn to before me personally appeared ______________________________ (name of signatory), to me personally known, who has read the foregoing Lien Statement and knows the contents thereof and the facts are true to the best of his/her knowledge, and being by me duly sworn, did state that he/she is the ______________________________ (title, position or type of authority granted by lien claimant) of ______________________________ (lien claimant) and that this lien statement was signed and sealed on behalf of the lien claimant by authority granted to the signatory by the lien claimant.
Witness my hand and official seal.
______________________________

Notarial officer

My Commission Expires:

Seal:

(Alternative 2:)

STATE OF __________________ )
) ss.

COUNTY OF __________________ )

On this _____ day of ______________, 20___, subscribed and sworn to before me personally appeared ______________________________ (name of signatory), to me personally known, who has read the foregoing Lien Statement and knows the contents thereof and the facts are true to the best of his/her knowledge, and being by me duly sworn, did state that the lien statement to be the free act and deed of the lien claimant.

Witness my hand and official seal.
______________________________

Notarial officer

My Commission Expires:

Seal:

When preparing your Wyoming mechanics lien form, remember the following:

1. You need a legal property description.

A street address or a generic location description will not suffice in a Wyoming mechanics lien form. For a mechanics lien to be valid, a legal property description of the property in question must be provided.

2. You are allowed to include attorney fees in your claim.

Unlike other states, Wyoming allows lien claimants to include attorney fees and other costs that were spent on trying to recover payment.

3. You need to have the mechanics lien form notarized.

Before filing the mechanics lien, your Wyoming mechanics lien form must be notarized. Make sure to sign the document while in the presence of an authorized notary officer.

2. Record the Wyoming mechanics liens

When your Wyoming mechanics lien form is ready, you may now record it in the county clerk’s office in the same county where the property is located. Some participants make the mistake of filing the mechanics lien in the county where their office is based – if you do this, your mechanics lien will likely be rejected.

Remember to file a mechanics lien in the clerk’s office of the county where the property in question is located.

As for the actual filing process, you may record the mechanics lien in person, by mail, or by electronic filing.

Filing the mechanics lien in person is most recommended, especially if you are filing a mechanics lien on your own. You may simply visit the county clerk’s office, submit your documents, and pay the appropriate fees.

Filing via mail is also acceptable, but remember to include the exact amount of filing costs in your parcel. You may call the county clerk’s office before sending your documents to verify how much the filing fees are. In general, filing a mechanics lien in Wyoming costs $12 for the first page and $3 for additional pages, but it is best to still verify the exact amount with your county clerk.

Note that if the clerk finds errors in your mechanics lien, they will send the form back to you for correction. The mailing process takes time so if you choose to file a mechanics lien by mail, be sure that you have plenty of time before the deadline. Otherwise, you may miss the deadline altogether.

Filing electronically is also acceptable in some counties. You may call the county clerk office to confirm that they accept electronic filing. Through this process, all you need to do is upload your documents and pay the fees electronically.

3. Notify the property owner about your recorded mechanics lien

After filing your Wyoming mechanics lien, you are also required to notify the property owner that you recorded a mechanics lien against their property. Notifying the property owner in Wyoming does not necessarily mean that you send them a copy of the mechanics lien that you recorded.

Instead, you may send them the completed notification form recommended under Wyoming Statutes Section 29-10-103:

CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED

To: ____________________________

Record owner or agent of owner (note: If there is more than one (1) owner, use a form for each owner)

Date: _______________, 20___

Re: Notice of Filing Lien

This letter shall serve as notice to you pursuant to W.S. 29-1-312 that ______________________ (hereinafter the “lien claimant”) has filed a lien against your property.
cc: _________________________
_________________________
_________________________

You may send this notice via certified mail with return receipt requested. This notice must also be served on the property owner within 30 days of filing. Keep in mind that this is a required step. Failing to comply with this rule could render your mechanics lien unenforceable, even if you have followed all other steps to the tee.

4. Enforce/release the mechanics lien

Your next and final step depends on whether you recover your payment or not. If you get paid, release your mechanics lien. If you do not get paid, enforce your mechanics lien.

Releasing a Wyoming mechanics lien

When a mechanics lien has been satisfied by payment, you must cancel or release the mechanics lien by recording a Notice of Satisfaction of Lien in the same county clerk’s office where the property is located. Wyoming Statutes provides the following form for the Notice of Satisfaction:

STATE OF _____________ )) ss.

COUNTY OF _____________ )

NOTICE OF SATISFACTION OF LIEN

Pursuant to the provisions of W.S. 29-1-313, the undersigned hereby files its notice of satisfaction of lien statement and hereby releases its lien(s), filed with the Clerk of __________________ County on the ______ day of ______________, 20___, commencing at Page ______ of Book _______.

Dated this ______ day of ______________, 20___.

Name of lien claimant: ______________________________

By: ____________________________________

Signature: ______________________________

Title: _______________________________

Note to Notarial Officer: If the lien claimant is a legal entity formed under Title 17 of the Wyoming Statutes or other applicable law, use the first jurat. If the lien claimant is an individual or sole proprietor, use the second jurat.

(Alternative 1:)

STATE OF __________________ )
) ss.

COUNTY OF __________________ )

On this _____ day of ______________, 20___, subscribed and sworn to before me personally appeared ______________________________ (name of signatory), to me personally known, who has read the foregoing Notice of Satisfaction of Lien and knows the contents thereof and the facts are true to the best of his/her knowledge, and being by me duly sworn, did state that he/she is the ______________________________ (title, position or type of authority granted by lien claimant) of ______________________________ (lien claimant) and that this Notice of Satisfaction of Lien was signed and sealed on behalf of the lien claimant by authority granted to the signatory by the lien claimant.

Witness my hand and official seal.
______________________________

Notarial officer

My Commission Expires:

Seal:

(Alternative 2:)

STATE OF __________________ )
) ss.

COUNTY OF __________________ )

On this _____ day of ______________, 20___, subscribed and sworn to before me personally appeared ______________________________ (name of signatory), to me personally known, who has read the foregoing Notice of Satisfaction of Lien and knows the contents thereof and the facts are true to the best of his/her knowledge, and being by me duly sworn, did state that the Notice of

Satisfaction of Lien to be the free act and deed of the lien claimant.

Witness my hand and official seal.
______________________________

Notarial officer

My Commission Expires:

Seal:

Note that you may avail of the Notice of Satisfaction form in every county clerk’s office in Wyoming.
Also note that after filing the Notice of Satisfaction, you must also serve a copy of the notice on the property owner within 30 days of the filing date. Fulfilling this step is crucial, so it is best practice to file the Notice of Satisfaction and serve a copy of it on the property owner on the same date.

Enforcing a Wyoming mechanics lien

It is also unfortunately possible for a property owner to not release your payment even after you have recorded a mechanics lien. If this happens to you, the next course of action is to enforce a mechanics lien.

Enforcing a mechanics lien means initiating a full-blown lawsuit against the property owners. If you win the suit, you may recover your payment through the foreclosure auction of the property.

There are two important things to consider when enforcing a Wyoming mechanics lien:

1. A mechanics lien must be enforced before it expires.

In Wyoming, a mechanics lien is only enforceable within 180 days of the filing date. You should therefore initiate the foreclosure lawsuit before the 180-day period elapses. Beyond this time frame, the mechanics lien will expire so it will no longer have any hold on the property and any enforcement action will be fruitless.

2. A foreclosure lawsuit is a full-blown legal suit that requires time and resources.

Enforcing a mechanics lien is best done with the help of an attorney since it is a legal action. Before you enforce a mechanics lien, you may first want to serve the property owner with a warning notice called Notice of Intent to Foreclose. A property owner may be prompted to release payment given the threat of a lawsuit, so serving a Notice of Intent to Foreclose is one way to initiate payment without having to go through a potentially expensive legal process.

Best practices when filing a mechanics lien in Wyoming

1. Serve the pre-lien notices early

Remember that serving a preliminary notice and a notice of intent to lien is mandatory for all potential lien claimants in Wyoming. It is, therefore, best practice to serve these notices early during the course of a project to avoid any possible compliance issues that could cause you to unintentionally revoke your lien rights.

2. File the mechanics lien on time

The deadline for filing a mechanics lien depends on your role in a project. Like the preliminary notice, a mechanics lien must also be filed way before the deadline so you have enough time to correct any possible mistakes that you may have committed when preparing the mechanics lien form.

3. Serve a Notice of Intent to Foreclose prior to enforcing a mechanics lien

A mechanics lien is often very effective in getting you paid for your hard work. However, if payment disputes ensue and you are forced to enforce a mechanics lien, it is best practice to first serve the property owner with a Notice of Intent to Foreclose. This is one way of warning them about your lawsuit and of potentially getting them to release your payment without your having to go through a full-blown lawsuit.

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