In my latest Daily Journal of Commerce Construction column, I discuss the stop notice remedy. When a subcontractor or supplier goes unpaid on a private project, one possible remedy is to file a lien against the land or improvements. The lien remedy has its limits, however. If you start work after the project has gotten under way (which is common unless you perform demolition, clearing or grading), it is likely that the construction lender has a prior claim to the property based on a recorded mortgage or deed of trust. If the loan amount is close to the property value, a subsequent lien has limited value. When that happens, consider another remedy available in Washington and Alaska (but not in Oregon) called a "stop notice"

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