Contractors and suppliers have a remarkable collections remedy at their fingertips:   the mechanic’s lien.    But as we’ve (and countless others @constructionlaw @timrhughes @myconstructlaw @matthewdevries) have warned a thousand times…the lien laws vary state-by-state, and they are highly complex.

Preserving those lien rights by promptly and properly filing a preliminary notice, notice to owner, or other type of required construction notice is critical.   Thereafter, timely recording your mechanics lien or public bond claim is also critical.

With all the legal complications and technicalities, some contractors and suppliers may wonder whether the mechanic lien is worth all the trouble?

Yesterday, Walter Duke at the Texas Construction Law Blog may have tendered an answer to this question.   His post, 4 Practical Steps to Help Ensure Prompt Payment, does a great job of focusing the non-payment issue onto four practical efforts.    One of those four important steps?    You guessed it…the mechanics lien.

Here is the praise Walter gives the mechanic lien in his post:

Mechanics liens are one of the easiest ways to ensure payment on a construction project, and yet they are one of the most commonly botched practices among contractors. All other tricks for getting paid on a project rely on the willingness, ability, and legal obligation of another party to pay up.  Liens, on the other hand, place your remedy in the land and its improvements (which, in theory, always have intrinsic value).

I thought this was a nice concise summary of why the mechanic lien is so powerful, and so frequently works.    Rather than regurgitating Walter’s post here, take a look at it on his blog in full to see more of his thoughts on mechanic liens, and the 3 other practical steps to help ensure prompt payment.