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Broadway Law

Mechanics Liens

What is a mechanics lien?

A mechanic’s lien is a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property. The lien exists for both real property and personal property. In the realm of real property, it is called by various names, including, generically, construction lien. It is also called a materialman’s lien or supplier’s lien when referring to those supplying materials, a laborer’s lien when referring to those supplying labor, and a design professional’s lien when referring to architects or designers who contribute to a work of improvement. In the realm of personal property, it is also called an artisan’s lien.


Who can file a mechanics lien?

Contractors, as well as subcontractors, sub-subcontractors and suppliers who have a contract with a general contractor or a subcontractor can file a construction lien.


When should a mechanics lien claim be filed?

Mechanics’ liens on private property must be filed within 200 days of the last date the lienor provided materials or services to the Project.


How does filing a mechanics’ lien help me get my money?

The construction lien places an encumbrance on the property that makes it difficult to resell or re-finance the property without first removing the lien.


What is a Stop Notice and why should it be filed

A Stop Notice is a notification that has the ability to enhance the effectiveness of a mechanic’s lien. A Stop Notice, or a notice to withhold funds, is sent to the company that is financing or funding the construction funds for a project. Once that company receives the Stop Notice, that company has notice that it should withhold sufficient money to satisfy the stop notice claim. The purpose of the Stop Notice is to provide the lender, financiers or funders of the construction project notice that there is money owed to a contractor, subcontractor or supplier so that an inquiry can be made as to why that money is not being paid.


When should a Discharge of mechanics’ lien claim be filed?

Once the lienor has been paid the amount contained in its lien claim, or has come to an agreement that requires the lien claim to be removed from the property records, a Discharge of mechanics’ lien Claim should be filed.