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Two bills proposed in New Jersey to extend lien deadlines on commercial projects

Deadlines are an essential part of the mechanic’s lien process to ensure you get paid what you’ve earned. New Jersey strictly enforces these deadlines – in particular the deadline for filing the lien claim.

However, two bills have been introduced in New Jersey that seek to extend the deadlines for filing commercial projects. Here’s everything New Jersey contractors need to know about AB-4710 and SB-2797.

New Jersey Lien Deadline on Commercial Projects

Currently, there are two separate lien filing deadlines in New Jersey, depending on the type of project. For residential projects, the last claim filing is 120 days from the date the claimant last provided labor and/or materials – not to mention the litany of other requirements for NJ residential liens.

For commercial liens in New Jersey, the filing deadline is no later than 90 days from the last date the applicant provided labor and/or materials to the project.

However, this may change with the introduction of Assembly Bill 4710 and Senate Bill 2797. Let’s take a closer look at what these changes might entail.

Learn more: How to File a New Jersey Mechanical Lien » Helpful Wiki A Step-by-Step Guide

Proposed bills to extend filing deadline in New Jersey

Two bills are currently before the New Jersey Legislature to extend the time for mechanics to file liens on commercial projects.

Assembly Bill 4710

  • Introduced: 10/11/22
  • Sponsors:
  • Effective date: Immediately after passage

Senate Bill 2797

  • Introduced: 10/11/22
  • Sponsor:
  • Effective date: Immediately after passage

These two bills are identical in content and, if passed, will change the time limit for NJ mechanics’ liens on commercial projects to 90 days from the last date the claimant provided labor. work and/or materials to the project, 90 days from the time payment became due to the applicant. This change primarily comes in the form of an amendment to NJ Stat. §2A:44A-6(2), illustrated here by deleted text struck through and amended text underlined:

“In all cases, except those relating to a residential construction contract, the lien claim form must then be filed for registration within 90 days of the date of the the last works, services, materials or equipment provided for which payment is claimed on which payment was due.

Additionally, there are two other statutes that would be amended by these bills to update the language to reflect the changed timeline. Specifically:

While this may not seem like a substantial change, it can provide a useful extra buffer for contractors who aren’t getting paid on commercial projects.

According to the Levelset 2022 Construction Cash Flow and Payment report, more than 85% of respondents indicated that they offered payment terms of 30 days or less. If this rings true in New Jersey, it means contractors may have up to an additional month to settle their payment dispute before having to file a construction lien claim.

Both of these bills are still in the early stages of the legislative process, and it is unclear if they will pass, or what changes may be made if/when they will. We will monitor the progress of these bills and provide updates as they move through the New Jersey Legislature.