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Deadlines are an essential part of the mechanics lien process to ensure that you get paid what you’ve earned. New Jersey strictly enforces these deadlines 鈥 particularly the lien claim filing deadline.

However, there are two bills that have been introduced in NJ that look to extend the filing deadlines for commercial projects. Here’s everything New Jersey contractors should 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. On residential projects, the latest a claim may be filed is 120 days from the date the claimant last furnished labor and/or materials 鈥 not to mention the litany of other requirements for NJ residential liens.

As for commercial liens in New Jersey, the deadline to file is no later than 90 days from the last date the claimant furnished labor and/or materials to the project.

However, this could 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 Mechanics Lien | A Step-by-Step Guide

Proposed bills to extend the filing deadline in NJ

There are two bills currently making their way through the New Jersey legislature to extend the mechanics lien filing deadline on commercial projects.

  • Introduced: 10/11/22
  • Sponsors:
    • ey Stanley
  • Effective Date: Immediately upon passage

  • Introduced: 10/11/22
  • Sponsor:
  • Effective Date: Immediately upon passage

Both of these bills are identical in content, and if enacted, will change the deadline for NJ mechanics liens on commercial projects from 90 days from the last date the claimant furnished labor and/or materials to the project, to 90 days from when payment became due to the claimant. This change mainly comes in the form of an amendment to NJ Stat. 搂2A:44A-6(2), illustrated here by the removed text stricken and amended text underlined:

“In all cases except those involving a residential construction contract, the lien claim form shall then be lodged for record within 90 days following the date the last work, services, material, or equipment was 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 deadline. Specifically:

Although this may not seem like much of a substantial change, it can provide a helpful, additional buffer for contractors who go unpaid on commercial projects.

According to the 葫芦影业APP 2022 Construction Cash Flow and Payment Report, over 85% of the respondents listed that they offer payment terms of 30 days or less. If this rings true in New Jersey, that means contractors may have up to an additional month to work out their payment dispute before having to file a construction lien claim.

These two bills are still currently in the initial stages of the legislative process, and there’s no telling if they will pass, or what changes may be made if/when they are. We will be monitoring the progress of these bills and will provide any updates as these make their way through the New Jersey Legislature.