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Alan Cohen

Mechanic’s Lien

A mechanic’s lien is an important and powerful tool for any person involved in a private construction project in Massachusetts.

If a contractor or subcontract is not paid for their work on the construction project if they have a written contract or written or electronic documents which constitute a written contract they can file a lien against the property on which the project is located. This means that someone who has provided services or materials for the project could have their money repaid through a foreclosure sale. It also means that reselling or refinancing the property is nearly impossible while the lien is attached.

A mechanic’s lien is involuntary. It does not need court approval before it is attached.

The Benefits of a Mechanic’s Lien

Aside from encumbering the property, which protects you financially, there are many other benefits to filing a mechanic’s lien.

When a lien is filed on a property, the lender attached to the project will often take note and will demand action from the debtor to secure their own financial situation. Similarly, a mechanic’s lien may encourage the property owner to act.

The Mechanic’s lien statute sets a firm deadline for when the debt must be paid before the need to file a lawsuit. With the lender and property owner on board and paying attention, you are far more likely to have the debt resolved before litigation begins.

However, knowing that there’s a deadline puts the end in sight, even if you have to go through a lawsuit to get paid.

Mechanic’s Lien Timeline

There are various important timelines to note when filing a mechanic’s lien. For instance, a subcontractor or supplier who does not contract with the general contractor needs to file a notice of identification within 30 days after starting work on the project to be able to effectively obtain or enforce a lien.

Depending on whether you are contracting directly with the owner, general contractor or subcontractor, different deadlines exist as to when you must record a Notice of Contract and the Statement of Account. The time lines also vary when there is a notice of substantial completion, notice of termination, or last date work was performed.

The Massachusetts Mechanic’s lien statute is a highly technical and demanding statute that when used correctly can make the difference between getting paid and getting stiffed.  Although more expensive than the garden variety internet based lien service companies, using an attorney with over thirty years of mechanic’s lien experience may make the difference between slandering a property owner’s title and getting paid. Often when you use internet non-legal services, you get what you pay for!! 

Attorney M Cohen uses effective techniques to recover debts, including Mechanic’s Liens. If you are tired of watching other vendors get paid who properly use the mechanic’s lien statute while you get nothing, call Alan M. Cohen at 508 620- 6900 or email

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