How to Remove a Lien
How to remove a lien depends on type of lien you want to discharge. There are four basic reasons to remove a builders' lien from title on a property in Canada. Removing a lien with Lien-Pro is a simple inexpensive process.
Note: If you are a property owner, Lien-Pro cannot assist with the removal of a lien from your property. We are only able to remove liens on behalf of lienholders - those who originally placed the lien.
Here are the four main ways to remove a lien:.
1. Direct Discharge of Lien
In most cases, after your lien has been filed your customer resolves their account and you need to remove a lien. Once you have received payment in full, or a settlement amount, and the funds have cleared the you are obligated to remove the lien, You can contact Lien-Pro directly to remove liens. Lien-Pro requires written notice by email or fax stating confirming you want the lien removed. Once we have received your request the lien will generally be removed within 2 to 3 business days*.
In Alberta we offer additional discharge services: regular discharge and RUSH discharge services.
Regular: After your request is received Lien-Pro will process the discharge paperwork and submit it to land titles. Confirmation of removal via our online account is generally given within 5-10 business days*. Lien-Pro will provide you with registration confirmation to prove the lien has been removed from the property.
RUSH: If you would like your lien removed immediately, Lien-Pro offers a RUSH discharge service in which the discharge is prepared and hand delivered to land titles the same day. Please contact our office for information about RUSH discharge services. Confirmation of the removal via our online account is generally given within 1 to 2 business days*.
*The time given discharging a lien is approximate. Processing times can vary depending on the volume of liens received at land titles. Liens have a higher priority than discharges because of specific legislation.
2. Discharge in Trust
Sometimes liens can be removed "in trust". A discharge in trust is a method used to remove a lien via a third party, usually a lawyer. For example, if your customer has payment but would like the lien to be removed prior to releasing the funds, a discharge in trust can be useful. In this case, your customer would pay the cost of the lien into a trust account with their lawyer. Their lawyer will then request that Lien-Pro discharges the lien and upon confirmation of the removal, the money in trust will be released to you.
Every lien has an expiration date. If your lien remains inactive i.e. no resolution, settlement, or pursuit of legal action by the time of its expiration date, your lien will no longer be considered valid.
Lien deadlines vary by province. For example, in Alberta liens are valid for 180 days from the date of registration. In Ontario, the life of a lien is much shorter at 90 days - calculated from the last day on site or date of last supply. If you do not want your lien to expire you must "preserve" or "perfect" your lien by beginning legal action. In Alberta you must submit a claim stating that you are in the process of initiating a lawsuit also known as Lis Pendens within 180 days of the lien registration date.
4. Failure to prove lien
In some cases your customer may dispute your claim and send you a "Notice to Prove Lien" or "Notice for Lienholder to Take Action". If you do not respond to their request and begin legal action to prove your lien within the given time limit, as indicated in the original notice, your lien will be removed and no longer valid. The deadline to commence legal action typically ranges from 15 to 30 days from the date of the notice.
Lien Removal Questions?
Every situation differs. If you are unsure whether you should discharge your lien or how to proceed, give us a call or check out our fee schedule for removing a lien.