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The Right Time to File a Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien

The Right Time to File a Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien

A Mechanic’s Lien is utilized by general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and all those related to the construction industry to resolve issues with payments. Timely filing a Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien against the  property on which the project is located gives and giving notice to the property owner puts the owner and the world on notice that you are performing work or providing materials to the project.  The purpose of a Mechanic’s Lien is to prevent the property owner’s property from being enriched at your expense. Depending on the lender, a mechanic’s lien can bring the project to a halt until either a lien subordination or a bond is recorded with the Registry of Deeds or payment arrangements are made. A lien can prevent the owner from selling or refinancing the property without first addressing or resolving all payment issues. However, it should be noted here that a Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien statute can only be used on private construction projects.

It is crucial to timely file a Mechanic’s Lien correctly, which is easier said than done. Filing a Mechanic’s Lien is often a complicated and time-consuming task. The filing of a Mechanic’s Lien is further complicated by the varying steps required by different states.

Who’s Allowed to File a Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien?

As mentioned before, almost any business entity or individual with a written contract or documents constituting a written contract which has a timely claim for materials or services rendered for the construction, removal, improvement or repair (to list but a few categories) of a building or in the development of a plot of land, can record a Mechanic’s Lien. Before allowing enforcement of a Mechanic’s Lien, the court tries to find whether the goods or services provided by the Lienor (the person or entity owed the monies) were in fact directly associated with the improvement or construction of the land or building.

Important Filing Deadlines

It is important to note that the deadline for filling a lien differs from state to state. That said, for the validity of the lien, in Massachusetts, if you are a general contractor, you must record the lien within ninety (90) days from the last date of that the general contractor last provided labor and/or materials to the project. Warranty work does not count. Different deadlines exist as to subcontractors and sub-subcontractors.

If you are the property owner, it is crucial for you to properly calculate the last performed any potential claimant performed work or provided materials. This generally includes all punch-list work as well as and all other work prior to the completion of the contract, other than repair or warranty work.

Having a professional debt collections attorney with construction law experience by your side will advise and guide you through the entire process, making sure that you meet all the necessary deadlines and requirements of filing a Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien.

Information in the Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien

Another factor that can either make or break the lien will be the type of information that it contains.  In Massachusetts, the Notice of Contract and Statement of Account must be in substantially the same form as that provided by statute. This is where the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC can help. Mechanic’s liens, because they provide the extraordinary remedy of putting a lien on the property of a person or entity which or who has not contracted with a subcontractor, supplier or sub-subcontractor (say that three times fast!), must be performed perfectly. The courts have often held that to enforce a Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien, a lienor must turn their corners squarely – that is comply with each provision of the Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien Statute. 

Once filed, there is a deadline for a Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien, after which it will expire, so it’s important to get a professional debt collections attorney who is well versed with collections and construction related issues to oversee the process of preparing, recording and filing suit to enforce your Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien.

To find out more on how Alan M. Cohen at the Law offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC can help, please feel free to visit us at www. Collections-law.com, or contact us at 508-620 6900. You can also email us at alanmcohen@collections-law.com.

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