Patriot Info Blog America How to Put a Lien on a House in Michigan

How to Put a Lien on a House in Michigan

Title: How to Put a Lien on a House in Michigan: A Comprehensive Guide


Putting a lien on a house is a legal process that allows a creditor to claim a property’s ownership rights as collateral for an outstanding debt. In Michigan, this process follows specific guidelines and requirements to protect the interests of both the creditor and the property owner. This article aims to provide a step-by-step guide on how to put a lien on a house in Michigan, along with a FAQ section to address common queries.

Step-by-Step Guide on Putting a Lien on a House in Michigan:

1. Understand the legal framework:
Before proceeding with placing a lien, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the relevant legal framework in Michigan. This includes the Michigan Construction Lien Act (MCLA), which governs the lien process for construction-related debts, and the Michigan judgment lien statutes, applicable to non-construction-related debts.

2. Determine eligibility for a lien:
Ensure that you have a valid claim against the property owner, such as unpaid bills for services, materials, or labor provided. The debt must be substantiated with proper documentation, including invoices, contracts, or written agreements.

3. File a Notice of Furnishing (Construction-related liens):
If your claim relates to construction services or materials, file a Notice of Furnishing within 20 days of the first day you provided services or materials. This notice informs the property owner that you have a potential lien interest.

4. Serve a Demand for Payment:
Send a written demand for payment to the property owner, clearly stating the outstanding amount, the nature of the debt, and a deadline for payment. Ensure that you retain proof of delivery or receipt of this demand.

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5. File a Claim of Lien:
If the debt remains unpaid, file a Claim of Lien with the county register of deeds where the property is located. This document officially establishes your lien interest and must be filed within 90 days from the last date you provided services or materials.

6. Serve a Notice of Lien:
Serve a copy of the filed Claim of Lien to the property owner, either personally or via certified mail with a return receipt requested. This notice must be served within 15 days of filing the Claim of Lien.

7. Enforce the lien:
If the property owner fails to satisfy the debt, you can take legal action to enforce the lien. This typically involves initiating a lawsuit to foreclose on the lien, which may result in the sale of the property to satisfy the debt.


1. How long does a lien last in Michigan?
A lien in Michigan typically lasts for one year from the date of filing the Claim of Lien. However, it can be extended by filing a Notice of Extension before the expiration of the original lien.

2. Can I place a lien on a property for any type of debt?
No, Michigan law specifies certain criteria for placing a lien, primarily related to construction services, materials, and labor. Non-construction-related debts require a judgment lien, obtained through a court judgment.

3. Can I place a lien on a property if the owner declares bankruptcy?
If the property owner declares bankruptcy, the lien may be subject to the bankruptcy proceedings. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney to understand the implications and potential outcomes.

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4. What if the property is jointly owned?
If the property is jointly owned, the lien may impact the interests of all owners. Each owner’s share in the property may be subject to the lien, depending on the specifics of the debt and legal proceedings.


Putting a lien on a house in Michigan is a legal process that involves several steps and adherence to specific guidelines. It is essential to understand the legal framework, follow the necessary procedures, and maintain proper documentation throughout the process. By doing so, creditors can protect their rights and ensure the possibility of recovering outstanding debts. Remember, consulting with a qualified attorney familiar with Michigan’s lien laws is always advisable to ensure compliance and maximize your chances of success.

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