Filing liens is not always the most straightforward process. That’s why it’s important to take a page from an experienced construction attorney or Michigan lien specialist and get those details down on paper. We’re here to take away the complexity and confusion and give it to you straight. If you work in Michigan and need to know the lien laws, this is the site for you. Here, we break down exactly what the state of Michigan requires for you to properly file a valid construction lien or bond claim. 

How to File a Valid Lien in Michigan: 

  • Place 4* and below Contractors do not have lien rights.
  • Contractors on residential projects must have a contract in writing that must include a statement that the Contractor is required to be licensed; your license number must be provided.
  • You cannot have a lien on a residential project unless you are a licensed Contractor. 
  • All Place 2 & 3* Contractors and Materials Suppliers must send a notice of furnishing to the Owner and the Place 1* Contractor within twenty (20) days of the first time work was performed and/or material supplied.
  • All the information you will need to have to file a lien can be found on the notice of commencement which is required to be filed before any project starts.
  • You must file your lien within ninety (90) days of the last work performed and/or materials supplied.
  • You must send the Owner a copy of the lien that was filed within fifteen (15) days of filing the lien.
  • You must file suit to enforce your lien within one (1) year of filing.

How to Have a Valid Bond Claim in Michigan: 

  • Bonds are required on public projects of more than $50,000.
  • You can get a certified copy of the bond from the public entity if you submit an affidavit stating that you have not been paid.
  • To enforce your bond claim you must file suit against the bond company within one (1) year of the final payment to the Place 1* Contractor but cannot be filed before ninety (90) days after your last labor was performed and/or materials were provided.
  • Place 2* and below Contractors must send notice to the Place 1* Contractors within days of the first work performed and/or materials supplied, letting them know what you are doing and who you were hired by.
  • Place 2* and below Contractors also need to send notice of unpaid amounts within ninety (90) days of last work and/or materials supplied. This notice needs to be sent to the Place 1* Contractor, the bond company, and the governmental unit having the work done.
  • If you are working on a State Highway, notice of unpaid amounts needs to be sent within sixty (60) days of last work and/or materials supplied.

If you work in Michigan, you must ensure that you understand the information above. You deserve to be paid for the work you do, and filing a timely, valid lien is the best way to protect your pay. If you need to get your hands on Michigan’s lien or bond claim forms, consider purchasing the required materials from us! If you want someone else to take care of filing your lien or bond, and do it the right way, contact a Michigan lien lawyer to take care of it for you. Our sister company, The Cromeens Law Firm, has a 90% success rate of collections before having to foreclose on a lien, saving you costly legal fees. Fortify your future and protect your right to payment by following these steps!

*The “places” referenced in the rules above correlate to the Construction Food Chain Chart from Karalynn Cromeens’ book,
Quit Getting Stiffed. The chart can be found here to use when following these lien and bond rules.