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Sub-subcontractors and notices of identification: How the Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien Statute Can Help with Bad Debt Collection

Sub-subcontractors and notices of identification: How the Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien Statute Can Help with Bad Debt Collection

Although many might consider that the mechanic’s lien may have something to do with cars and mechanics who repair them, the reality is different.  A mechanic’s lien provides contractors and sub-subcontractors with the power to put a lien on properties that they worked on in certain circumstances provided that certain prerequisites are made. The Mechanic’s Lien statute requires sub-subcontractors to timely provide what is called a notice of identification to help ensure that they get paid for the work they did or the materials they supplied.

Notice of Contract and Notice of Identification

There is a distinction that needs a careful review here. The Notice of Contract is filed by the constructor with the Registry of Deeds that provides the amount of the contract, address of parties, legal address, among other things. It is recorded within 90 days of the work being completed. When the 90 days commence depends where you are on the contracting line. The details of completion of works are carried forward in other legal documents which are essential elements of a mechanic’s lien such as the Statement of Account.

Sub-subcontractors must file a Notice of Identification within 30 days of starting work on a written contract to gain maximum protection pursuant to M.G.L. c. 254, § 4, the Mechanic’s Lien statute governing subcontractors and sub-subcontractors. This notifies the general contractor that a third party in interest could file a lien against the project. A sub-subcontractor should record a Statement of Account within 120 days of last providing material or furnishing labor. The lien is invalid as a matter of law unless a lawsuit is filed to enforce the lien within 90 days of recording the Statement of Account. The Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC can assist you at all stages of the mechanic’s lien process. They know how to prepare the necessary contract underpinning a mechanic’s lien, how to prepare and where to record a notice of contract and a statement of account, how to prepare and where to send  notice of identification and even more importantly how and where to file a suit not only to perfect and enforce your mechanic’s lien, but also how to collect your bad debt.      

The Benefits of Mechanic’s Lien

With the timely use of a Notice of Identification and the timely filing of the elements of a Mechanic’s lien, sub-subcontractors can receive added security. But a sub-subcontractor must adhere to timelines and required procedures before such a benefit can take place.

Surprisingly, many sub-subcontractors aren’t aware of the need to serve a Notice of Identification to protect their lien rights. The Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien statute has numerous pitfalls that require a careful and faithful adherence to its rigid requirements. One of the most effective third party available to enforce mechanic’s liens is the collections attorney who is also a construction litigation attorney who can navigate you through this complex process of drafting a Notice of Contracts, and a Notice of identification.

With decades of mechanic’s lien experience, the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC can guide you through the legal maze to help get you paid. At the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC., we work to protect subcontractors’ and sub-subcontractors’ rights under the Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien Statute. Our experience of 35 years assures you that we mean business and will do our best to provide you all means to receive compensation for all the hard work you did on the construction contracts.  For more information about how the top-rated award-winning collections attorneys at the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC can help get you paid, click here or call 508 620 6900 or email

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