New Hampshire
Subcontractor’s/Contractor’s Lien-Private Work

Warning: All information contained within this data base is subject to change at any time by the various states and is not guaranteed in any way by FWM Software. Nor does FWM Software assume any liability or responsibility for its content. Please use ain conjunction with advice from your attorney.

Note: This information is limited in scope and applies only to this document. Please see the general information, all forms memo, and the general information memo for this type of document, for additional information.

Document Title: Subcontractor’s/Contractor’s Lien

Scope: State of New Hampshire, Private Works.

Time Constraints: You must file your Subcontractor’s/Contractor’s Lien with the County Recorder's office where the project is located within 120 days, inclusive, of the last furnishing of materials, labor or services. Serve copies on the owner, prime contractor and sureties, if any.

Unlike most states in which a Notice of Contract or Notice of Lien may be recorded in the Court or deed registry where the project is located and then a legal action started thereafter, New Hampshire collapses these two steps into one – but at the price of some simplicity. A mechanic's lien can only be secured by an attachment, which must be granted by a court and then recorded at the appropriate registry of deeds for the county or counties in which the project is located. This, in turn, means that a breach-of-contract lawsuit will be started by the lienor at the same time, together with a petition for an attachment to secure a mechanic's lien. That petition will be granted on an “ex parte” basis – without advance notice to the defendant(s) – and should recite under oath a reasonably accurate description of the land improved, and that:

(a) the plaintiff has a contract with the owner of the land improved by plaintiff's labor and/or materials, or with an agent, contractor or subcontractor of the owner;

(b) the plaintiff is still owed a sum of money under that contract;

(c) the plaintiff has provided labor and/or materials to the project under that contract within the past 120 days;

(d) if plaintiff is not a prime contractor, plaintiff has given notice in writing to the owner of intent to claim a mechanic's lien.

While a material supplier to a subcontractor or general contractor is covered, a material supplier to a material supplier is not afforded protection.

If you have been dealing with the owner through a contractor, you must also serve a Notice of Filing Lien upon the owner along with a copy of the Subcontractor’s/Contractor’s Lien.

Perfection: After recording, the lien becomes permanently attached to the property. Execution upon the property can be commenced immediately if payment is not made.

Payment Bond: Where a Payment Bond has been provided by a surety, file within the time frame as stated in the bond.

The usual remedy is to file to enforce all claims in one suit (see below, Procedures). In any case, we strongly recommend that your attorney handle the enforcement actions to perfect your lien claims

Information Requirements: Program information and information for Exhibits A-D, any additional costs as to legal fees, court costs and interest charges (do not pass these up. Estimate if necessary. In the case of Bond Claims, the sureties will reserve only the amount for which you make claim), and the county of the state where the recording will be made.

Form Types: Subcontractor’s/Contractor’s Lien, Exhibit's A-D, if needed, Notice of Filing Lien, and Recorder's Letter.

Procedures: Prepare your documents using the required information.  File your Subcontractor’s/Contractor’s Lien and serve with Notice of Filing Lien (where required) upon the owners and general contractors (your customer is optional). At this point you are ready enforce all of your claims in one action.

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