Will the 2009 Economy Create More Mechanic Lien Filings?

At the Construction Finance Journal, we’ve written about the current state of the economy in America, and how this has affected the construction industry from coast-to-coast.

However, there is recent conversation in the media and out in the blog-o-sphere that the economy’s impact on construction has increased the amount of mechanic’s liens filed by contractors.

The Pacific Business News source in St. Louis, for example, has a story on a construction attorney in Missouri who says that he filed twice as many liens in 2008 as he did in 2007.

A similar article appears in the Virginia Lawyers Weekly, which reports that construction litigation in general is increasing in the current economy, with increased claims for construction delays, defects and problems with collections.

It seems that the business journals are full of stories about construction projects being slammed with liens, like the story here and here.

As the new year approaches, what will we see in the construction industry that is predicted to remain pretty stagnet?

One thing is for sure, regardless of whether lien filings increase, decrease or stay the same, with the current credit crunch and economic woes, it’s more important than ever to file liens on claims you do have, and to do it timely and properly.

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  • http://constructionlaw.blogspot.com Chris Hill

    I think that more lien filings are inevitable. Followed by more foreclosures unfortunately. The issue in VA will be that the owners may pay what they owe, preventing a foreclosure that may be the only way to turn a judgment into money.

    • http://www.expresslien.com Scott Wolfe Jr

      Hey Chris. That’s a good point about VA law and the so-called “payment chain.” We have a post on the VA Payment Chain, and the rule that owners must only pay for a project once, scheduled in the next few days.

      But you’re right about the problems facing contractors who file liens late, or in Virginia even those who file it on-time, but just after the owner has depleted all of its funds.

      • http://constructionlawva.blogspot.com Chris Hill

        I look forward to seeing the post. Let me know if I can help out with that. Thanks for keeping the importance of liens on the front burner.

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  • http://www.expresslien.com Scott Wolfe Jr

    Another article from another business journal (Boston, MA) about increase lien filings.

    http://boston.bizjournals.com/boston/othercities/louisville/stories/2008/12/29/story1.html?b=1230526800^1752948

  • Pingback: Be Ready to Lien in 2009 (but Be Careful!) « Construction Law Musings-Richmond, VA

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    • http://www.expresslien.com Scott Wolfe Jr

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll check that out and see what we can do.

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