Legitimate liens are legal regardless of whether they are recorded or not. However, liens will not carry any weight against the property unless recorded with the local governing authority, which is usually the county records office. Moreover, there are often time limits as to how long a unrecorded lien is valid and recordable. Anyone may record a lien against another person's property, as long as the current property owner has legally agreed to the lien. For example, most home improvement contracts contain a clause allowing the contractor to record "mechanics & materialmen" lien if the home owner fails to pay the bills.
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