Month: October 2014

Mechanic’s and Materialman’s Liens in Georgia: Lean Time Lessons

Drive around with the windows down this fall and you’ll hear a few more hammers swinging than this time last year. The economic downturn that decimated the construction industry in North Georgia is showing signs of abatement.  Workers, owners, and suppliers in the construction industry are excited to see the jump in business and are happily pushing the lean times out of their collective memory.  However, there is danger in forgetting lessons learned during the construction bust, with the foremost being left unpaid for work done.

The most powerful tool available to those providing services, materials, or rental of tools and equipment for use on a construction project in Georgia is the mechanic and materialman’s lien.  The lien is a “hold” on the property where the project is located or to be located.  The lien travels with the land, meaning that if the current owner sells the land, the new owner takes the land with the lien still attached. Often, lenders will require all liens to be extinguished prior to lending money for the purchase of property.  This will trigger action by the owner to pay the debt owed.

The process of filing a lien is conceptually straightforward.  In practice though, there are many pitfalls waiting to render the lien useless.  The best practice is to retain legal counsel to assist you with filing the lien and guiding you through the process of “perfecting” the lien in order to keep it valid until you are paid or are forced to file suit for payment.

For further information about mechanic’s or materialman’s liens, contact Will Tate, attorney with Thompson, Meier and King, P.C., at wrt@dmtlawfirm.com or (770) 479-1844.