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Alan Cohen

Mechanic’s Lien – What is it and how does it work?

Have you or your company performed work for a construction project only to be refused payment? A mechanic’s lien is an invaluable tool that helps the construction industry collect money owed. You have to know what you are doing, however, to use it effectively.

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a mechanic’s lien is security for payment of labor and/or materials supplied to a construction project, residential or commercial, on private land. A mechanic’s lien does not cover construction projects done on public land.

Almost anyone involved in a construction project, including suppliers, laborers, architects, engineers, construction managers and rental equipment businesses can file a mechanic’s lien. The one requirement is that the filing party or parties have a written contract for their work on the project.

In Massachusetts, a mechanic’s lien is initiated by a series of recordings with Registry of Deeds followed by filing a lawsuit in court.

Using our law firm to help in this process is the smartest thing you can do. There are strict filing and timing requirements that must be met or the lien will not be enforceable.

A mechanic’s lien is not necessarily a quick solution to problems collecting money. They provide leverage for getting paid, however. Most general contractors and/or owners have vested interests in clearing a lien in order to legally sell their project.

If you are a general contractor, sub-contractor, sub-subcontractor it is wise to record a Notice of Contract or send out a Notice of Identification (sub-subcontractors) at the start of your participation in a project. This maximizes your ability to get paid. In our opinion, it is best to let us do this for you. You will be busy elsewhere. We have the expertise required to prevail on your behalf.

Most general contractors and owners do not want to be forced into a sale by a judgment against them. Typically your lien will result in:

  • Payment
  • A lien bond
  • A settlement prior to a forced sale

Our law firm will ensure that everything is done timely and correctly. We’ll see that your mechanic’s lien is valid and will work to make sure that you receive payment for your work.

You are good at what you do. So are we. We have the skills and experience to enforce your Massachusetts mechanic’s lien wherever you are, in or out of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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