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Alan Cohen

Massachusetts Mechanics Lien Can Help Suppliers Get Paid

The Massachusetts Mechanics Liens law can help building material suppliers get paid.  Although it is not without its pitfalls, when properly used, Mechanics Liens are a valuable tool to help get you paid.

The lien statute allows you to recover for the value your materials have added to another’s property.  Provided that you have a written contract relating to the improved property, the statute allows you to have a lien on the property without the consent of the property owner or a judge.

In order to be able to use the mechanics lien statute, you must have either a single written document which is specifically related to the particular project or a series of written documents which form a written contract –- that is an offer and acceptance –- for a particular project. A general credit application is insufficient. Emails may be sufficient.

For building material suppliers, the law sets out three general scenarios –- contracts directly with the owner, contracts with the general contractor, and contracts with a subcontractor.  M.G.L. c. 254 § 2 addresses what you need to do and when you need to do it to have a Mechanics Lien when you contract with the owner.  Section 4 pertains to both contracts with general contractors and contracts with subcontractors and which notices you need to provide and when.

Timing is very important because if you fail to timely record the notice of contract within the appropriate 90-day window or statement of account within the appropriate 120-day window, you will lose your Mechanics Liens rights. Similarly, if you don’t file suit in the proper court within 90 days after recording the statement of account at the correct registry of deeds, you will lose your lien rights. If you don’t record the attested to copy of the complaint in the right registry of deeds within 30 days of filing suit, you also will lose your lien rights.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the complexity of the lien statute and not take advantage of its benefits.  We can help.

Alan M. Cohen has been working with Mechanics Liens since 1986 and is very experienced in this field.  Use the Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien law to protect your money.  Call 508 620 6900 or email for a free 30-minute consultation.

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