A mechanic’s lien is a legal mechanism contractors, suppliers, and other parties can use to ensure payment for a construction project if they are not paid–or not paid in full. The lien gives the uncompensated party a security interest in the property related to the construction job, opening up another means for recovering payment.

In addition to the question, “What is a mechanic’s lien,” you may be unsure how the process works and how you can fight a mechanic’s lien in New York. To learn more about filing a lien or having one removed, get the answers and legal guidance you need from a New York construction accident lawyer from The Weinstein Law Group.

what is a mechanics lien

Who can file a mechanic’s lien in New York?

New York’s Lien Laws identify parties with “lien rights,” or the right to file a mechanic’s lien, which include:

  • Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Laborers
  • Materials providers
  • Landscape gardeners
  • Individuals or corporations performing labor or furnishing materials to improve real property

These entities can file, as can other design professionals such as surveyors, architects, and engineers, as long as they work under the property owner’s or agent’s consent.

However, there are layers to the lien laws, and some “second-tier” suppliers may not qualify for filing. For example, those under contract to the material supplier working directly for the project are not eligible to initiate a mechanic’s lien in NY. Connecting with a New York construction accident attorney is the best way to determine if you qualify to file. If you don’t, The Weinstein Law Group can help find other legal ways to secure payment.

How do mechanic’s liens work?

A mechanic’s lien allows the filer to start a foreclosure lawsuit, forcing the sale of the property related to the unpaid construction debt. The unpaid party receives their delayed payment from the property sale proceeds.

It is possible to file a lawsuit to collect payment from a delinquent party. However, a lawsuit may not force that party to sell the property, and if the party has no other assets, you’ll remain uncompensated. The mechanic’s lien can prompt that sale and put you in a better position to get the money you are owed.

The legal deadline for filing most mechanic’s liens in NY is eight months after a project is completed, a contract is finished, or materials are furnished. However, the specific circumstances of your situation can shorten that deadline. When facing non-payment situations, it is best to consult with a skilled construction accident lawyer in New York promptly so you do not risk losing your chance to take action.

Is it possible to fight a mechanic’s lien?

New York’s lien laws Section 19 provides recourse for those issued a mechanic’s lien. For example, you might argue the lien contains wrong information. For a lien to be valid, every item must be accurate–names, addresses, work dates, costs, payments, money owed, and any other major or minor detail. An error can render the lien defective.

You might also contest the lien’s merit, perhaps arguing you do not owe the filer any payment or that your work was not incomplete, inadequate, or defective, as the filer claims. To learn more about how to fight a mechanic’s lien in New York, you should partner with a knowledgeable New York construction accident attorney from The Weinstein Law Group. Putting their skills and experience to work for you is critical for the best chance at a successful outcome.

Get experienced counsel and powerful representation

The New York construction accident lawyers from our team have the extensive legal knowledge and skill to work through the intricacies of New York’s lien laws and the unique circumstances of your case to reach the most favorable outcome possible.

Whether you need to file a mechanic’s lien or believe a lien has been filed against you unfairly, call The Weinstein Law Group at (212) 741-3800 to schedule a free case review. You can also reach us through our online contact form.

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Steven M. Weinstein