A Lien creates a new and additional source to recover payment of the debt. For example, in the event of nonpayment, your first line of recovery would typically be a breach of contract claim against the party who hired you.
At McDonnell Coates LLP, our attorneys recommend you timely and properly file a Lien against the Property, then you will have the following additional rights and protections: (1) to file a Lawsuit to foreclose on the Lien and force a sale of the Property; (2) a Lien against any funds held by the Property Owner and due to the General Contractor; (3) the right to be paid directly by the Property Owner if the General Contractor does not timely dispute the amount owed in writing; and (4) if the Property Owner pays the General Contractor after receiving a timely Pre-Lien Notice (with “fund trapping” language), then the potential right to force the Property Owner to pay twice for your work.
The “Lien Process” is also an excellent way to gain leverage in negotiating a resolution of the debt. Moreover, if you file a Lawsuit and prevail on foreclosing on the Lien on a commercial project, then you are entitled to recover all reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.