How would you feel if one day you woke up to find that you and your property were the focus of a targeted investigation conducted by your local news channel, causing bad PR for your business? Believe it or not, filing a notice of a mechanics lien in a state like West Virginia can do just that. Since property owners want to avoid negative PR, this is one more way a mechanics lien can get you paid.
Mechanics Liens Cause Bad PR
While searching for mechanics lien related news, I came upon a story with the following headline:
Notice of Mechanic’s Lien filed against company financing land for Weirton Area Port Authority
The headline was followed by a description of the facts leading to this special report. Kokosing Construction Company, an Ohio firm, alleged that it was still owed $513,349.94 after performing work on a West Virginia project in Brooke County. The company filed the land as well as its Petroleum Fluids Unloading Station.
As the Weirton Area Port Authority Board spokesman BJ DeFelice implied, mechanics liens are merely contractual disputes and don’t necessarily indicate financial unsoundness on the part of the property owner on which the lien was filed, but the news story makes it seem otherwise. The story’s choice of words, such as the fact that the lien was “uncovered” in a “targeted investigation” immediately cause bad PR for the recipient of the lien.
The news agency then went on to quote a source from the governor’s office itself who expressed concern that the lien was filed against the same company that was financing a public port authority. The governor’s office liaison, Ed Bowman, even vowed that the government would conduct an investigation “to discover any possible wrongdoing.”
Whether the financing company is financially sound or not is not the point, however. Rather, what readers should focus on is that all this negative PR was caused simply by filing a mechanics lien. It’s almost guaranteed that Center Point Terminal Company is going to do everything in its power to pay off this mechanics lien as quickly as possible. Furthermore, it is probably going to take steps that, in the future, ensure that another mechanics lien is not filed on the property, causing more negative PR.
As we’ve said so many times in the past, there are many reasons to file a mechanics lien. Causing bad PR for the property owner on which the lien is filed is just another one of them!