Saturday, May 28, 2011

Update on Statutory Amendment Regarding Mechanic's Liens and Retainage

The New York Mechanic's Lien Blog previously advised you that the New York State Legislature was considering a bill that would allow contractors to file a mechanic's lien for retainage within 90 days after the date that the retainage was due to be released.  I am now pleased to report that the bill passed the assembly on May 3, 2011 and has been delivered to the senate for consideration.  This is an amendment that will be a welcome addition if passed.  Currently, contractors must file their lien on the project regardless of whether the retainage is all that is left within the current strict statutory time frames (4 months for single family dwellings and 8 months for all other private projects).  The lien can often create problems for the contractor that is still on the job because the owner will demand removal of the lien even though the lienor had no choice but to lien or waive its lien rights.  This new statute could allow the unpaid contractor to continue to wait for retainage without risking waiving his right to lien. 

Let's hope the Senate has the sense to pass this bill soon.  You can view the bill here.

Vincent T. Pallaci is a partner at the New York law firm of Kushnick Pallaci, PLLC where his practice focuses primarily on the area of construction law.  He can be reached at (631) 752-7100 or

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