A lien is a legal tool that you can use in certain circumstances so that you can get the money that you are owed by someone else. For example, if you sell someone a car and they don't make the full payment, you can put a lien out against the car so that you have the right to possess part or all of the property until they pay you the money that they owe you. A lien can also make it so that they are unable to sell the car while there is a lien. There are other kinds of liens as well. One is a mechanic lien.
A mechanic lien isn't something that only a mechanic uses. They are also called construction liens. These liens can be placed by mechanics, contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc. Basically, any skilled worker can place one of these liens against someone. If the worker does the job, but they don't get paid for it, then they can talk to a lawyer about getting a lien. For example, if an electrician comes into a house and does a full rewiring of the house, they may end up billing the homeowner $7500. The homeowner chooses to only pay part of that fee, leaving the electrician out of their full fee. The electrician can try to negotiate with the homeowner for the rest of their fee. They can go to court for it, or they can get a lien for it.
When the electrician goes to a lawyer to file a lien, several things can happen. One of the things that happen is that the title of the house becomes clouded. That means that there is an obligation on the title that has to be fulfilled before it can be transferred to someone else. The homeowner can't hide the lien, because it is part of public information. Any sale would have a title search as part of it and the lien would be found. Not only would the mechanic lien make it impossible to sell the house, but it would also make it really hard to refinance the house or take out a loan using the house as collateral. Lenders don't want to deal with homeowners who have liens.
If you are a contractor, subcontractor, artisan, mechanic, or other skilled worker and you didn't get paid in full by a customer, you can talk to a lawyer about getting a mechanic lien placed against the person who owes you money. It will give you leverage in order to get the money you are owed.
For more information about mechanical liens, contact a local professional.