At Lien-Pro it is unfortunately quite common to have clients who want to lien but have missed their lien filing deadline. Sadly, there is no way to extend your lien filing deadline; however, you are not completely out of luck! There are still other options for debt recovery and below are three options to recover your debt if you have missed your lien filing deadline:
So, you have missed your lien filing deadline. Now what?
1: Sue in Small Claims Court
If the debt is within the small claims limit in your provincial jurisdiction, you can file a claim in Small Claims Court. The process is quite simple, and there are plenty of videos online that can assist you with the procedure. The process can be done on your own, but if you do not have time, you can hire a small claims agent to assist you with the process.
2: Hire a Lawyer
If you are over the small claims limit in your provincial jurisdiction, it is typically required that you hire a lawyer if you wish to proceed with legal action. When choosing a lawyer, it is important to pick a lawyer with a construction law background. It may be less effective for you to hire a commercial litigation lawyer (without a construction law specialty), as they will likely have little experience with the ins and outs of construction and lien filing deadlines according to lien laws in each province. You decide which you prefer, a specialist or a generalist.
For a full list of lien filing deadlines across Canada, you can download a copy of our Lien Cheat Sheet Here.
3: Hire a Debt Collection Agency (No Collect, No Fee)
Hiring a debt collection agency can be a great option for debt recovery if you are unsure if your customer is incapable of paying. A collection agency will investigate the account to see if the debtor has the means to pay. This option should be done before you decide to start legal action or used in conjunction with legal action (an escalation step in collections). This will help you avoid unnecessary legal costs. When hiring a debt collection agency, like hiring a lawyer, make sure the agency has experience with building supply, construction, Builders’ Liens, and Construction Lien filing deadlines to increase their effectiveness.
If you miss your lien filing deadline, there are still options to recover the funds that are owed. Depending on your particular situation, you can: sue in small claims court, hire a lawyer or hire a collection agency. To avoid missing future lien filing deadlines, make sure to bookmark the lien deadline calculator. It's 100% free- email required.
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**Disclaimer: Priority Credit Management and Lien-Pro is a lien filing agency. We are not lawyers. We will not give you legal advice. We strongly recommend that you consult a licensed lawyer for legal advice.