Public Improvement Lien (Mechanic's Lien)

If you work or provide material to a contractor or subcontractor of a public improvement project for the City, you can file a Notice of Lien. A lien is a legal claim against property for outstanding debt. You can file the notice before the project is completed or within thirty days of completion.
When you file a lien, the City withholds payment from the contractor and publishes information about the lien on our website in the Public Improvement Lien Docket.

The Department of Finance does not process mechanic’s liens against private real property.

Who would file a Public Improvement Lien?
You can file a lien with Finance if you are a subcontractor and/or supplier on a City government public construction project and you have not been paid by the contractor. In that case, you have the right to file a lien in the amount the contractor owes. The city will hold payment to the contractor 1 1/2 times the amount owed on the lien.

We only accept Notices of Public Improvement Liens for contracts awarded by Mayoral agencies and registered with the NYC Comptroller’s office. Other public entities, such as HHC, New York State agencies, the MTA, the School Construction Authority, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation have their own Public Improvement Lien processes.

Filing a Public Improvement Lien
Complete the Public Improvement Lien Form. Bring your completed form to the Manhattan Business Center or mail it to the address on the right.
Mailing Address

NYC Department of Finance
Collections Division
OCA/External Inquiry
59 Maiden Lane,
24th Floor
New York, NY 10038                               
Requesting a Stamped Copy of a Lien Send your request with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the address on the right.
To Withdraw a Lien A lien can be removed from the list of active liens on our website (the Docket) through a court order or when legal consent like a Satisfaction of Lien is filed by whoever filed the lien. You can bring Satisfactions of Liens in person to the Manhattan Business Center or mail it to the address on the right.

You can download the Public Improvement Lien Docket to view the liens filed against contractors doing business with the City. The docket includes several types of liens. The “encumbrance code” listed in the docket tells you the type of lien.

Public Improvement Lien Docket

0 Other 5 State Levy
1 Marshall Levy 6 Restraining Order
2 Sheriff Levy 7 Stop Payment Order
3 Mechanic’s Lien 8 Assignment
4 IRS Levy 9 Department of Investigation