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North Carolina Liens/Bonds

Timelines & Date Calculations

Liens (Private Projects)

Notice to Lien Agent

  • 15 days from the first date of furnishing for absolute protection
  • If furnishing, within 15 days before closing, then ASAP, but not more than within 15 days of first furnishing.
  • If you miss the 15 days, provide Notice to Lien Agent ASAP for maximum protection.

Claim of Lien on Real Property

  • Must be filed and served within 120 days of date of last furnishing.
  • Must be enforced by lawsuit within 180 days of last furnishing.

Claim of Lien upon Funds

No time limitation, but not effective until actually served on party holding money; is not filed except as an exhibit to a Claim of Lien on Real Property (Subcontractor’s lien).

Notice of Subcontract

Served on the Contractor via certified mail (separate and apart – unrelated to lien agent).

Payment Bonds (State Public Projects)

Notice to Lien Agent

Notice of Public Subcontract must be served on Contractor (he who has a contract directly with the owner) within 75 days of first furnishing.

If 75 day limit is missed, then serve ASAP, but there will be a 75 day “look back” (can only recover for invoices issued in the 75 days prior to receipt of the Notice).

If all else fails or if project is small, right to recover up to $20,000.00 if no notice served Demand for payment on bond must be served on the contractor on or before 120th day from last furnishing.

Lawsuit to perfect claim on payment bond must be filed within 1 year of last date of furnishing.

Private Project Payment Bonds

No statutory deadlines, but most require service on contractor and surety within 90 days of last furnishing, may have additional service requirements so must be reviewed before there is a problem. Lien rights still exist.

Federal Payment Bonds

Applies to any project funded by federal tax dollars (Post Office, Federal Courthouse, Federal Prison, Military Bases, National Park Service units, etc.)

Demand on bond must be made within 90 days of last furnishing (Note must be received by contractor by 90th day).

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