If you work in the construction industry it is likely that at some point, someone has refused to pay you. Whether you are a contractor, subcontractor, or employed by a contractor or subcontractor, it is important that you understand the power of a lien. A lien can provide you with powerful protection in a situation where you are unjustly denied payment.
A valid lien allows the lien holder to go directly after the property on which the unpaid work was performed. This may serve as a strong incentive for the property owner to provide payment rather than have his or her property tied up in litigation. Although a lien is a powerful pre-litigation tool, if payment is not made, it will be necessary to enforce the lien which will then require litigation.
To obtain a valid lien one must follow very specific requirements, including 30 or 60 day filing deadlines from substantial completion of the entire project. If you have worked a construction job and have not been paid, a construction lien can be a powerful ally for you.
Check with Waltzer, Wiygul and Garside if you have been refused payment on a project to determine whether a construction lien may work for you.
Mauricio Sierra, Esq.