In the past, we’ve posted about the strength and effectiveness of construction liens.    Across the nation, construction or mechanics liens can be used as a powerful collections tool by contractors, suppliers and others working on construction projects.

The state of Virginia, however, has perhaps the most powerful mechanics liens in the nation.

In most circumstances, a mechanics lien will get resolved without the property being foreclosed or the property owner filing bankruptcy.   However, there are occasions (and in this economy, increasingly so) when a project falls apart, and those working on the jobsite find themselves waiting for proceeds to trickle down from foreclosure or bankruptcy proceedings.

In most states, a filed mechanics lien takes priority below the construction loan bank’s mortgage.   Further, the filing of bankruptcy usually defeats any lien rights.

In Virginia, however, the opposite is true.  A properly filed mechanics lien in Virginia will not get defeated in bankruptcy, and it will have priority over the construction loan bank.   Earlier filed mechanics liens have priority over later filed instruments.

We’ve posted in the past on why its important for contractors to lien unpaid construction projects.   This review of the powerful lien laws in Virginia stands as a reminder of how effective a mechanics lien can be, and why its important to make your claim timely & properly.