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STA LEGAL LOG – APRIL 2019

PRESERVING YOUR MECHANICS’ LIEN AND PAYMENT BOND RIGHTS: A HANDY TOOL

By Henry L. Goldberg, Legal Counsel, Subcontractors Trade Association
Partner, Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP

This month we are going to depart from the normal format of this column to provide what should be a useful tool in preserving your mechanics’ lien and payment bond rights.  In “chart” form (which you may copy and distribute to key staff members), we have summarized the essential due dates for both initial mechanics’ lien and payment bond notices, as well as critical lawsuit start dates necessary to enforce each.

This is all about self-help.  You must be proactive and not inadvertently waive your rights.  They are valuable, but as can be seen, they expire over relatively short periods of time.

It is also opportune at this time to highlight some of the newer provisions the STA was able to achieve as part of its highly successful legislative program in Albany.  These legislative developments provide: (1) new mechanics’ lien protection for sums being held as retainage (which greatly assists early trades whose lien rights may otherwise expire long before its retainage becomes due at the end of a project); (2) extend the trigger point on public projects for lawsuits against payment bond sureties; and (3) close the “no-mechanics’ lien” loophole for private development on public land by mandating the public agency involved require a payment bond from the developer.

Mechanic’s Liens and Payment Bond Claims

  1. Mechanic’s Liens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In these difficult times, it is particularly important not to sit on your rights.  The important thing to remember with both mechanics’ liens and payment bond claim rights is that you either “use them… or lose them.”  As always, please feel free to call with any questions or concerns.

2. Payment Bonds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Goldberg may be reached by email at hgoldberg@moritthock.com or by telephone at (516) 873-2000.