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Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien

The Mechanic’s lien was designed so that construction suppliers and contractors could have a right to compensation for certain work that they perform on a specified property. However, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts mechanic’s lien statute requires strict adherence to stringent requirements making it more difficult for building material suppliers, general contractors and sub-contractors to take advantage of their lien rights.

Benefits of Using a Mechanic’s Lien:

  • Since these are public records, they help ensure that you will receive your payment for certain construction jobs.
  • A mechanic’s lien must be either paid off or bonded for a property owner to either transfer or sell its property.

Factors that make this law problematic include:

  • Strict requirement times
  • The requirement of a written contract
  • The window of time allotted to file suit
  • Recording of the complaint

The following sections of Massachusetts’ Mechanic’s lien law outline some of the complicated and stringent requirements necessary to perfect and enforce your Mechanic’s lien rights.

Notice of Contract

In order to place a lien on a property, a contract must be written out between the contractor and the property owner. The contract must be property specific and must contain the terms of an enforceable contract under Massachusetts law. The written contract does not need to be just a single document. Rather, a mechanic’s lien contract can consist of several writings, as long as when taken together, they form an enforceable contract under Massachusetts law. In order to avoid judicial discretion as to what constitutes a written contract, we have developed what we call a “notice of contract,” which enables our client to sail over this first hurdle.

Notice of Identification

If you are a sub-subcontractor, you can best protect yourself by providing a notice of identification. This document must be given to the contractor within 30 days of the job as part of the process of filing a lien. If you fail to provide the notice of identification, it just means that your likelihood of recovery depends on what if any money is owed to the entity with which you contracted. 

Warrant of Sale

In some cases, real estate must be sold in order to satisfy a lien. In such a case, we request that the court issue a warrant of sale, which is particular to the Mechanic’s lien statute as well as to condominium liens.

Statement of Account

The exact amount must be stated in the context of a mechanic’s lien document called the Statement of Account. The statement of account must be recorded at the specified registry of deeds within the specified time. Although the window of time allows contractors and subcontractors to take their time paying out for work that has been done, the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC recommends that you do not take your time and that you file as soon as you can to have your best chance of getting paid.

Civil Action to Enforce

To enforce your Mechanic’s lien, you must file suit in the appropriate court within 90 days of the date that you recorded the Statement of Account. One day late means that your lien rights go poof. 

The professionals at the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen, LLC, have been serving the Massachusetts building community for decades. We know about how to deal with the intricacies of the Mechanic’s lien, and we know what steps to take to maximize the likelihood that you collect what is rightfully yours. Here is a video testimonial from one of our satisfied clients who won his Mechanic’s lien case thanks to our expertise:

To start perfecting, enforcing and collecting on your Mechanic’s lien, contact the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen, LLC today by calling (508) 620-6900 or emailing us at

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