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Why File a Notice of Identification in Massachusetts?

by | Jul 4, 2018 | Mechanic's Liens

A mechanic’s lien in the State of Massachusetts is a lien against real property created by statute. Its purpose is to secure a contractor, their subcontractors, and sub-subcontractors the right to payment for services rendered and material supplied in connection with real estate improvement. 

To create, perfect, and enforce a mechanic’s lien, strict compliance with procedural rules for the creation and on-going enforcement of a mechanic’s lien must be adhered to. This is mandated by the Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien statute and subsequent court decisions. 

Who Can Obtain a Mechanic’s Lien?

In 1997, Massachusetts mechanic’s lien law was overhauled, and the revised statute grants statutory rights to:

  1. Parties involved in the erection, alteration, repair or removal of a building, structure or other improvement to real property.
  2. Parties furnishing material or rental equipment, appliances or equipment for improvement of real property.
  3. Parties providing construction management and general contractor services. 

When to File a Notice of Identification

If a project runs out of money, sub-subcontractors or suppliers without a direct contractual relationship with the general contractor can be severely limited in what they can collect in the best of circumstances.

To obtain or enforce a mechanic’s lien by sub-subcontractors or suppliers and have the best chance of payment, they must file the necessary paperwork. In addition, they must file a Notice of Identification within 30 days of commencing work on the project. 

If no notice is filed, lower tier subcontractors or suppliers cannot obtain or enforce a Massachusetts mechanics lien more than the unpaid balance due at the time of the original recording of the notice of contract. 

Many Massachusetts Mechanics Liens are filed late in the project process. Second tier liens are usually unsuccessful if the parties involved have not complied with the Notice of Identification process. 

Do not let this happen to you!  Alan M. Cohen ensures that construction suppliers, general contractors, and subcontractors obtain their money by helping them to properly prepare and file all paperwork required for enforcing mechanics liens throughout Massachusetts. This is the way to ensure that everyone involved in a private real estate project has the best chance of getting paid.

The present version of the Mechanic’s Lien law is broad in scope and is not restricted to work or materials furnished regarding work on a building or structure. Accordingly, in theory, a mechanic’s lien can be sought by any person who provides an “improvement to real property,” such as landscapers, driveway installers, fence installers, and utility contractors.

This is a growing area of law. Whether something is an improvement to real property is somewhat open to interpretation.

To ensure that you are protected by the Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien law, get in touch with Attorney Cohen at 508-763-6604 or email [email protected].