Liens are an important resource to aide the contractor in securing payment for the work that they perform. Unfortunately, many general and restoration contractors have expressed some reservations regarding using or enforcing Mechanics Liens. As contracts lawyer Ben Cushman, shared in our last video, "Liens are the best security a contractor has for non-payment, and it provides all kinds of strong remedies."
The history of Mechanics Liens
The conceptual origin of a mechanic's lien goes back to the early days of the United States. The lien was first developed by Thomas Jefferson to create a landed gentry in the new nation. The U.S. had vast stretches of productive land and a mechanic's lien helped citizens monetize the land and build farms. The lien is called a mechanics lien because construction workers were referred to as mechanics (or people who work with their hands) in those days.
This video is one of many questions we asked contracts lawyer, Ben Cushman of Deschutes Law Group, as we sought his perspectives on the importance of Mechanics Liens in the construction and property restoration process. Ben has been practicing construction law for over 25 years, the last 5 of which have been with his own firm based in Olympia, Washington.
Mr. Cushman will be joining us for our January meeting of the Fellowship of Construction Knowledge and Entrepreneurial Development. He will help educate our peers on the proper use and execution of liens and attendees of the meeting will benefit from discussing the experiences of other contractors as well. This group is for Pacific Northwest, specifically Washington, based professionals who work in the insurance claims industry (i.e. contractors, adjusters, providers, etc.).
Mechanics Liens resources for contractors:
Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is a 19 year veteran of the property restoration industry and a business coach through his organization The DYOJO.