Once recorded, mechanic’s liens encumber the value of the property and act as security until the laborer or material supplier is paid and the lien discharged. Mechanic’s liens must be recorded at the registry of deeds in the county where the real property is located within 120 days after the services are performed or the materials furnished. A mechanic’s lien is obtained for recording in the registry of deeds by filing a lawsuit against the real property owner (and contractor, if applicable) alleging the amount due for the labor or materials along with a petition to attach real property. If the petition to attach real property is approved by the court, a writ of attachment is prepared and the lawsuit, petition, and writ are then recorded in the registry of deeds.
After the mechanic’s lien is recorded, the property owner is notified and given the opportunity to request a hearing to tell the court why the mechanic’s lien should not be placed on his or her property. Whether or not the mechanic’s lien stays in place or is removed as a result of the hearing, the lawsuit continues on like any other lawsuit where the plaintiff is seeking a judgment from the court against the property owner and contractor, and the owner and contractor can challenge the laborer’s and materials supplier’s claims and potentially bring their own claims against the laborer and materials supplier (possibly for defective labor or materials). If the laborer or materials supplier wins the lawsuit and obtains a judgment from the court, the mechanic’s lien (assuming it was not previously removed) will remain recorded at the registry of deeds until satisfied. If the property owner and contractor prevail in the lawsuit, the laborer or materials supplier will be required to discharge the mechanic’s lien.
A mechanic’s lien is a very powerful tool to aid the laborer or materials supplier to get paid, but the process is also well known for its complexity and technicalities, most often requiring the assistance of an attorney who practices in this area of law. Please contact us at the attorneys at Welts, White, & Fontaine by clicking here or by calling (603) 883-0797 to assist with your matter if a mechanic’s lien becomes necessary in your business.
Author: George Thompson
This blog is intended for informational use only. The information contained herein should not be construed as offering legal advice or a legal opinion.