Civil Process - Mechanics Lien Sales*

Chapter 514. Liens; Labor, Material

*The information presented is not comprehensive. It does not provide legal advice, nor attempt to suggest a course of action if there are legal issues to be resolved. If you are unsure of how to proceed, you should contact an attorney. Our staff members are not permitted to provide legal advice, nor can we recommend any specific attorney.

Responsibility of the Lienholder

General Guidelines:

The following are important requirements that must be met in order to have a successful sale.

  • Individual or business bringing forth the action. In order for you to act as lienholder over property, you must have met the statutory requirements set forth in the subdivisions of Minnesota State Statutes 514.18 or 514.19. (See below.)
  • 90 days must have lapsed after the bill becomes due to the lienholder.
  • Notice to secured creditors on the certificate of title. If the property is a motor vehicle and there are secured creditors on the certificate of title, the lienholder must provide written notice to the secured creditors by certified mail at least 45 days prior to the sale date.
    • The notice must state the name, address and telephone number of the lienholder, the amount of money owed, and the rate of storage charges if they are accruing
    • Costs for certified mail and other reasonable costs related to complying with this notice provision constitute “lawful charges”.
    • Failure to comply with the notice provision in this section renders any lien created by this chapter ineffective against any secured party listed on to the certificate of title of the motor vehicle involved. (The notice to secured creditors may or may not be the same as the notice of sale. Each notice requires specific statutory language be included so draft the notice accordingly.)
  • The sale herein provided for shall be made at public auction between nine o’clock in the morning and five o’clock in the afternoon in the county where the property or some part thereof is situated. Lienholders should contact the Sheriff’s Office where the property is situated for the days and dates that work best. The Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office requests that sale dates be set Tuesday through Thursday. Please call the Civil Division in advance to schedule your sale date and time. Please allow enough time to complete the required notifications. Sales cannot be scheduled on Sundays and holidays. The sale should begin on the hour and not on the half-hour since the sale must take place within the stated hour.
  • The notice of sale must state the date, time and location of the sale; the amount that will be due on the date of the sale exclusive of the expenses of advertising and sale; the grounds of the lien (for what reason) and give a general description of the property to be sold.

    The notice shall be served upon the owner of the property if he/she lives Sherburne County. If the owner does not live in Sherburne County, the notice should be mailed to their last known address at least three weeks prior to the sale date if the place of residence or post office address of owner is known by, or with due diligence can be learned by, the person claiming such lien.

    The notice of sale shall be published once each week for three successive weeks in a newspaper printed and published in the county where the property, or some part thereof, is situated, the last publication of such notice to be at least one week prior to the date of sale. If there is no newspaper printed and published in the county, then the notice of sale shall be posted in three of the most public places in the county at least three weeks before the time of sale. In Sherburne County you must publish in one of the three official county newspapers: Becker Citizen, Elk River Star News or the Big Lake West Sherburne Tribune.

    In case neither the place of residence nor the post office address of such owner is known to the person claiming such lien and cannot with reasonable diligence be learned, the publication or posting of notice, as herein provided, shall be sufficient to authorize such sale. The notice of sale to be served should read the same as the notice that is published in the newspaper. The same statutory information is required.
  • General Description. If the property is a motor vehicle, the notice of sale should include the make, model, year and vehicle identification number (VIN). Verification should be made by getting a copy of a vehicle printout from the State of Minnesota Department of Vehicle Services (DVS) and confirm it with the VIN on the vehicle. While this is not a statutory requirement, you need to check to see if there are secured creditors listed on the certificate of title and using the VIN is the easier way to do that. The DVS will release information on the vehicle to businesses bringing forth the sale upon request and receipt of the accompanying fee but will not release information to private individuals who are lienholders who bring forth the sale.
  • Vehicle Printouts. See below
    Driver and Vehicle Services
    445 Minnesota St, Suite 168
    St Paul, MN 55101
    Phone: 651-296-6911
    TTY: 651-282-6555
    download DVS form PDF

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Sherburne County Sheriff’s Civil Division Requirements

  • Letter of Instruction. You must submit a letter of instruction to the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Civil Division. The letter should be specific as to what you want the Sheriff’s Office to do and should include the date of sale. Please indicate if you want the Sheriff’s Office to accomplish service of the notice of sale on the owner(s) of the property. A $50 advance payment is required for each service. Provide the name and address of individual(s) you want served and additional copies of the notice of sale for each service. Include your name, business name, address and phone number in the letter and attach the following:
    • A copy of the notice of sale
    • Proof of ownership (DMV Printout)
    • Proof of mailing notice to secured creditors at least 45 days prior to the sale date if the property has secured creditors
    • Proof (affidavit) of service of notice of sale upon the owner of the property if located in Sherburne County. If the owner is living in the county where the vehicle is stored and sold, they must be personally served the notice of sale. An affidavit is a notarized statement from a person not less than 18 years of age and not a party to the action or a certificate of service by the sheriff that the notice of sale was personally served. Or, if the owner does not live in Sherburne County, an affidavit of mailing. Examples of an affidavit of mailing are: a signed certified letter receipt, a returned envelope from the post office, a statement from the person that mailed the notice or an affidavit from the possessor that the owners address cannot be found.
    • Copy of the notice of sale as published in the newspaper with dates listed or an affidavit from the publisher stated that the notice was published and on what dates.

    Deliver in person or mail to the address found to the left.

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Every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained on this web site is valid at the time of publication. Sherburne County reserves the right to make additions, changes, or corrections at any time and without notice. Additionally, Sherburne County disclaims any and all liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies and is not responsible for misuse or misinterpretation. Data is updated periodically.
Sheriff Contact:

Sherburne County Govt Center
ATTN: Civil Division
13880 Business Center Dr NW
Suite 100
Elk River, MN 55330-4668

Office Location & Hours
Phone: 763-765-3571
Fax: 763-765-3605
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