Filing a Mechanic’s Lien – Collect payment for labor owed to you.

A Mechanic’s Lien is a remedy in which an individual or business entity can ensure compensation when they are not paid accordingly.

A mechanic’s lien is defined as a statutory lien that secures payment for labor or materials supplied in improving, repairing, or maintaining real or personal property, such as a building, automobile, etc. A lien of this nature is also sometimes referred to as a construction lien as it pertains to labor. With respect to materials, a meterialman’s lien can be implemented. All serve the same function, which is to ensure just compensation for the service-performing party.

If, for example, a contractor performs service upon a building, such as installing a new roof, they are clearly entitled to compensation for said work. If the owner of the building or business does not pay the contractor their fee, the contractor, after due diligence in attempting to be paid, may file a Mechanic’s Lien against the property.

A Mechanic’s Lien by definition puts a lien on the property in question in the amount that is owed or in dispute. If the property is to be sold, the mechanic’s lien will show up in a title search and it will need to be satisfied prior to sale and/or foreclosure. At this time, the contractor will receive their rightful compensation, assuming the property is not sold/foreclosed at a loss.

A Mechanic’s Lien must be filed in the county in which the property is situated. The filing fee is approximately $5.00. While it is not necessary to hire an attorney to file a mechanic’s lien, it is common to do so since they often deal with this area of law on a regular basis and can guide one through the process accordingly.  

Once the Mechanic’s Lien is properly filed, the duration of the lien, in the State of New York, is typically not to exceed a one year term. Typically, unless other factors exist, a party make extend the duration of the lien for an additional year if it is not satisfied. If the property in question is in foreclosure, the courts will allow the lien to be extended past the one year period in order to allow proceedings to commence and conclude accordingly.

The amount of the lien may only include the cost of labor and associated materials. A contractor may not add finance charges to the Mechanic’s Lien in question. 

For more information on Mechanic’s Liens and other New York State laws and statutes, visit