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A Look At Massachusetts General Law To Understand Mechanic’s Liens

A mechanic’s lien is a provision given to contractors and subcontractors in many states of the country so they do not lose their dues for services rendered and/or materials supplied during any project of construction, reconstruction, renovation, etc., on real property. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this statutory provision is comprehensively discussed in a dedicated chapter of the Massachusetts General Laws.

The purpose of the mechanic’s liens is to ensure the labor involved in real property projects do not remain unpaid. The complex nature of the construction industry economics involves a majority of small businesses and independent service providers who rely on every payment to stay afloat and make the ends meet. Oftentimes, they purchase supplies for a project on credit to deliver them to the site on time.

With the provision of mechanic’s liens, Massachusetts based contractors, subcontractors, and other independent service providers can feel more secure. However, if you are one of such professionals still awaiting payment for their labor and/or supplies, the law of the land in Massachusetts allows you to go after the property you improved in order to get paid.

Why learn about Mechanic’s Liens?

The legal instrument of mechanic’s liens has a key role to play in the construction industry economics. It works as one of the pillars that maintain stability in the market and strengthen trust within the industry. Among the many benefits of this statutory instrument, a prominent one is its ability to motivate economic activity and create employment due to the environment of trust it builds.

As a professional of any type within the construction industry, you need to learn everything you can about this type of liens. With a thorough understanding of this instrument, you can initiate timely legal action to secure your payments for many kinds of work and/or supplies delivered on real property.

Some of the key reasons why you should build your knowledge of mechanic’s liens in Massachusetts are as follows:

  • With this knowledge, you understand in detail what kind of legal support you can count on to recover your unpaid bills.
  • Familiarity with the legal requisites of a mechanic’s lien allows you to provide your lawyer the necessary information to work more efficiently when preparing for your court action.
  • The information allows you to be more prudent with your business practices – particularly about making sales and services agreements in writing so you can have sufficient evidence in writing to prove your debt.
  • It also allows you to attempt to reduce your business risks and pursue profitable projects with greater confidence and better preparation.

For more information about how mechanic’s liens work in Massachusetts, please click here

M.G.L. C.254: Comprehensive Instructions on Massachusetts Mechanic’s Liens

Massachusetts General Law, chapter 254 contains detailed instructions about mechanic’s liens.  The instrument is a legal mechanism that contractors, subcontractors, workers, other service providers and materials suppliers – including design professionals (i.e. architects, engineers, surveyors, and licensed site professionals) – can use to try to secure payment of bills that are due, or which may become due during the course of construction.

Massachusetts mechanic’s liens can be used to recover payment owed for certain labor and/or materials supplied through any stage of a construction, redevelopment, or renovation project on a real estate property. If you were involved in the project on various stages, you may still be able use a mechanic’s lien to get paid.

Chapter 254 sets forth a guide that lawyers in Massachusetts follow to prepare their clients’ mechanic’s liens. This comprehensive chapter of Massachusetts’ General Laws contains several sections, each providing definitions and discussions about a distinct area related to the subject. Out of these sections, in particular, sections 2 and 4 provide instructions about how and when to file a mechanic’s lien to facilitate debt collection.

As the two sections combine to provide the guidelines that are followed during any mechanic’s lien litigation in the courts of Massachusetts, there are frequent similarities between the two. However, there are also a number of overt and subtle distinctions that your mechanic’s liens lawyer in Massachusetts must know rigorously. Of course, your familiarity with these distinctions can also help you during the preparation of your mechanic’s lien action in Massachusetts, since it will allow you to provide your lawyer useful evidence about your contract.

Highlights of M.G.L. Ch.254 Section 2

Section 2 of the chapter addresses the situation where a general contractor utilizes the mechanic’s lien to pursue monies directly owed to it by the property owner. Since the contractor is generally the party to establish the contract of services with the property owner, their need to pursue a mechanic’s lien is often result of a dispute between the two parties.

According to Massachusetts mechanic’s liens law, a general contractor is a professional individual or organization that possess a license to provide comprehensive construction, redevelopment, and/or repairs project management services for real property. Section 2 of M.G.L. ch.254 sec.2 outlines how such a party would pursue a mechanic’s lien in Massachusetts successfully.

Highlights of M.G.L. Ch.254 Section 4

In contrast to sec.2, ch.254’s sec.4 outlines the utilization of a mechanic’s lien by subcontractors and sub-subcontractors. A sub-contractor (as well as a sub-sub-contractor) is a party that undertakes its contract of services indirectly from the owner.

This difference between the two sections of the chapter alone reinforce the significance of using an experienced lawyer to pursue this kind of commercial debt.

For more information about how the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC pursues a mechanic’s lien in Massachusetts, please click here.

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In recognition of our persistent diligence in legal services and success in aggressively pursuing bad debts and mechanic’s liens in Massachusetts, our legal services for debt collection have earned the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a neutral peer review and rating agency recognized nationwide.

You can contact us for any further information regarding whether and/or how you can use mechanic’s lien action in Massachusetts to secure your debt and help get you paid by calling us at (508) 620-6900 or sending Attorney Alan M. Cohen LLC an email directly to

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