Mechanic's Liens

Mr. McMillan works with owners of real property in removing mechanic’s liens and with contractors, sub-contractors, laborers, material men and design professionals in the filing and enforcement of mechanic’s liens, including going forward on lien foreclosure actions, where necessary.

If you have any questions related to a mechanic’s lien call Mr. McMillan for a free consultation at either (914) 358-4326 or on his cell phone at (917) 538-5016.

What Is A Mechanic’s Lien?

A mechanic’s lien is a device which can be utilized by nearly anyone involved in a construction project, whether residential or commercial, to protect their interests and to ensure that they are paid for their work on the project.

This is so because before an owner can sell the property, refinance it, or otherwise dispose of it in any way they must first clear the lien from the property’s title.

Important Issues To Keep In Mind With Respect To Mechanic’s Liens

There are strict timing requirements as to when a mechanic’s lien must be filed, notice which must be given to the owner and all other interested parties with respect to a mechanic’s lien and there are unique differences in the type of properties mechanic’s liens may, or may not, be filed against in New York State.

It is therefore important to speak with an experienced construction lawyer to know your rights and limitations with respect to mechanic’s liens.

For example, a mechanic’s lien may be filed against a single family residence or condominium within four (4) months after final completion of construction or furnishing of the materials by the lienor, but against a cooperative apartment within eight (8) months after final completion of construction or furnishing of the materials by the lienor.

Moreover, the timing is generally calculated from the contractor’s last day of work, in some cases even if that “work” involved only picking up tools at the site.

Mechanic’s liens which are filed first are first in priority - so it is important to file before others who worked before you on the same project.

A mechanic’s lien is filed in the Office of the Clerk of the County in which the improved real property is located.

Practice Areas With Respect To Mechanic’s Liens:

  • Lien Filing and Service

  • Lien Removal - Including Satisfaction of Lien, Action Verses Lien and Waiver

  • Lien Enforcement - Including Foreclosing on the Mechanic’s Lien

  • Lien Vacatur - Including Actions to Dismiss Based on Willful Exaggeration of the Amount at issue in the Mechanic’s Lien, Improper Service of the Mechanic’s Lien, Improper Notice and/or Failure to Timely or Properly Renew

Nearly all homeowners who enter my office seeking to vacate a construction lien will tell me that they do not owe some or all of the money the contractor claims they do on the face of the mechanic’s lien.

Oftentimes the sum alleged on the face of the mechanic’s lien will be a substantial amount of money.

Because the mechanic’s lien is exaggerated the homeowner often assumes it can be easily defeated.

Unfortunately, that is usually not the case.

Mechanic’s liens can only be quickly dismissed under certain circumstances. The situations in which a mechanic’s lien can be summarily vacated include:

  1. Where the mechanic’s lien fails to name the proper owner of the real property;
  2. Where the mechanic’s lien is not timely filed;
  3. Where the mechanic’s lien fails to name the proper real property; and
  4. Where the item against which the mechanic’s lien is filed cannot be liened (such as profit from the construction).

A dispute over the amount owed in a mechanic’s lien (even one which is grossly exaggerated) will not serve as a basis to summarily dismiss the mechanic’s lien.

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