When to use a Mechanics Lien:
In spite of their name, a mechanics lien is used for contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers. Mechanics liens are legal claims placed on a property that can be used to recover money for unpaid work performed on that property after a specific period of time. A mechanics lien can be placed on real and personal property.
Typically a mechanics lien is created and filed before work gets started on a property. The lien is typically formally recorded in a county’s recording office and remains active until a formal filing of release. If you have not been paid for the work you performed on a property, the lien will remain actively attached to that property so when that property is sold you will have a legal claim (think “first dibs”) on some of its value before the owner can be paid.
Since the current owner always wants to be paid for the full sales price of the property and potential future owners do not want to buy a property with unsettled debt or active liens, the mechanic's lien incentivizes the current property owner to pay their contractors timely and in full to remove any active liens on their property.