Mechanic’s Lien Update–Adding a Copy of Your Invoices to the Lien
We all know the power of recording a mechanic’s lien for unpaid construction services. The recording itself, as well as sending out certified mail copies can be very persuasive. It is much more powerful than simply sending out repeated copies of your unpaid bills. But how can you make your mechanic’s lien even more effective? There are some ways.
The Mechanic’s lien form itself does not tell the whole story. In essence, it is simply a statement of the amount due, without any background information. But you want the owner of the property to know exactly the history and the urgency of making the payment. This is especially the case for subcontractors and suppliers.
Here is a common scenario. Subcontractor A is an electrician and has a $25,000 bill. There have been no complaints as to defective workmanship or timeliness. The contractor performed all the work under his or her purview as well as uncontested change orders. For some reason, the lien has not been paid. You suspect that the general contractor has been paid all or a portion of the money allocated for this work, but it has not filter down to you.
After filing, the owner gets a copy of the lien and immediately gets on the phone screaming at the general contractor as to why this happened. The general contractor then makes a number of defensive statements that seems to explain the nonpayment. But you are not there during the conversation to present your side of the story as to the mechanic’s lien.
But what if, in addition to the mechanic’s lien itself, you were to put in the same envelope copies of all unpaid invoices. Or even better, you were to include a brief demand letter that explained the whole situation. This is very very persuasive to the owner who is making a decision as far as the payment on the mechanic’s lien. Now they know the full story. There is a much better chance of getting paid without background information.
So think of your mechanic’s lien as the first stage. Then the owner knows all the circumstances that point toward being paid in full.