5 Things to Know About a Mechanic’s Lien in South Carolina
If you are a creditor involved in the construction industry or construction business in any capacity, you probably have heard about a mechanic’s lien. Sometimes creditors in the construction business are the companies directly supplying materials for construction, while in other situations creditors may be the contractors who are obtaining materials and supplying them to subcontractors or other workers on a construction project. While most states in the U.S. have mechanic’s liens—although they can be known as construction liens or property liens in other places—these legal documents can be difficult to understand. We want to tell you more about mechanic’s liens in South Carolina.
Mechanic’s Liens Are Legal Documents Designed to Help Creditors Get Paid
Under South Carolina law, mechanic’s liens are legal documents designed to ensure that creditors get paid. A mechanic’s lien is something that a creditor files when a debtor does not pay his or her construction-related debt. The South Carolina Courts defines the lien as “a security, charge, claim, or incumbrance against some specific property.”
Creditors Can File Mechanic’s Liens for Debts Related to Construction Goods and Services
Mechanic’s liens can be filed for debt related to goods provided, but they can also be filed when debt for services rendered have not been paid.
The South Carolina statute clarifies that this type of lien is for situations when a debt is owed for labor performed or for materials offered and used in the creation or repair of a building or structure. Typically mechanic’s liens can involve costs for materials supplied, labor on the construction project, and other related services.
Mechanic’s Liens Can Be Filed In Addition to Civil Lawsuits
If a creditor files a mechanic’s lien, this does not prevent the creditor from filing a civil lawsuit, or a breach of contract claim, against the debtor. To be clear, a mechanic’s lien is one type of remedy when a debtor does not pay a debt for construction-related costs—goods or services related to a construction project.
Mechanic’s Liens Can Make It Difficult or Even Impossible for a Debtor to Secure Future Financing
The primary point of a mechanic’s lien is for it to encourage the debtor to pay the debt. The mechanic’s lien will show up on property searches and in public records, and it can make it difficult or even impossible for the debtor to secure future credit or financing (thus encouraging the debtor to pay off the debt).
South Carolina law does allow creditors to file a suit to enforce the lien when necessary.
Many Different Parties May Be Able to File a Mechanic’s Lien
As an article in The Balance explains, mechanic’s liens can be remedies for many different parties that have not been paid for supplies or services for a construction project. Often a general contractor will be the one who files a mechanic’s lien, but subcontractors and material suppliers also may be eligible to file a mechanic’s lien.
Contact a Columbia, SC Creditors’ Rights Attorney for Help With Your Case
If you have questions about filing a mechanic’s lien or other options for collecting a debt owed, you should speak with a Columbia creditors’ rights lawyer about your case. Contact Crawford & von Keller, LLC for more information.