Filing a lien against a residential property you worked on could be a good way to secure payment. However, the process in New Jersey could be complicated enough that you may want to seek other options. 

After you determine that this route could be practical, then you would begin following the steps. According to New Jersey law, the mechanic’s lien procedure is roughly as follows: You would file initial documents, undergo arbitration, wait through any contest of the arbitrator’s decisions or make such contest yourself and, finally, file the lien. 

Your first step would be to file notice. This also includes notifying various parties involved. It is generally important that you take this initial action as early as possible — your window for filing is probably quite small when you consider all possible delays. In order to avoid delays and counteractions, you may also need to observe certain rules when making your estimate, notifying parties and filing documents. 

After initial notice, you would undergo arbitration. The law specifies that you would go to the American Arbitration Association, but there is also a provision for agreeing to alternative dispute resolution with the other parties involved. 

The arbitrator would attempt to determine how much of the initial amount was appropriate in your initial notice. If you or the other parties had basis to disagree with the arbitrator’s decision, you may be able to appeal to the courts. 

Assuming that the final determination found your lien valid, you would proceed to file. It is worth noting that the owner of a property may be able to sell before this process is over by making a deposit with the county. You should receive prompt notice in this type of situation. 

Please make to give your case the individual attention it deserves. Even if the lien process turns out to be inefficient, there could be other options available.