The Top 10 Misconceptions about Mechanic's Liens

by David J. Barnier, Esq.

Below is a list of the top ten misconceptions about mechanic's liens as compiled by David J. Barnier, Esq. Please click the links to read the truth behind each misconception.

1. A Preliminary Notice must be served within 20 days of the claimant first providing benefit to the project; otherwise, the claimant loses his entire mechanic’s lien rights.

Not true...

2. If a claimant identifies and serves a Preliminary Notice on a party that is not the actual owner of the property, the claimant’s Preliminary Notice is defective and the claimant necessarily loses his mechanic’s lien rights.

Probably not true...

3. A claimant’s estimate within his Preliminary Notice must reasonably resemble the value that the claimant ultimately provides to the project.

Not true...

4. The value of a mechanic’s lien is equal to the contract balance owed to the claimant at the end of the project.

Very often yes however...

5. Attorneys’ fees and interest may be added to both:

  • A) The amount stated on a mechanic’s lien and/or
  • B) The amount of the judgment entered on the mechanic’s lien
Wrong and right...

6. A mechanic’s lien must be recorded within 30 days after a notice of completion is recorded.

It's more involved than that...

7. It’s good practice to record a mechanic’s lien as soon as equipment materials or services are first provided for the project.

Not true...

8. If at trial the court determines that a claimant’s mechanic’s lien overstated the amount that the claimant is actually owed, the claimant loses his entire mechanic’s lien rights and is denied a judgment on his mechanic’s lien.

This is true only if...

9. After recording a mechanic’s lien, a claimant has 90 days to file suit on the mechanic’s lien, otherwise the claimant loses his entire mechanic’s lien rights.

It's more involved than that...

10. A mechanic’s lien judgment is identical to any other judgment obtained after a court trial.

Not true although...

Disclaimer -
This article presents a discussion of general laws, rules, and strategies related to mechanic's liens and other construction issues and is intended to provide background information that will assist the reader in understanding the general laws and rules that apply. Examples and hypotheticals are described in this article for the purpose of illustrating these general rules, however no information within this article should be relied upon when analyzing a specific real-life situation.

For each real-life situation that the reader experiences, it is necessary that the reader consult with an experienced construction law attorney to ensure that the reader's specific situation is evaluated. The laws and rules affecting mechanic's liens and construction are extremely complex and no attorney can provide in a writing an explanation that will empower the reader to use only the information in an article to evaluate how the law will apply to a specific real-life situation. In other words, the reader should not rely on the information in this article when addressing a particular real-life situation.


David J. Barnier Esq.
619.682.4842
BarkerLawGroup.com