Caveat assignee: Be careful when assigning mechanic’s lien rights

Mechanic’s liens are freely assignable.  However, a common mistake is when the assignee of the lien fails to record the assignment in the County Clerk’s office.  The assignment must contain the names and addresses of the assignee and assignor, the amount of the lien and the date of filing of the lien.  If the assignment is not filed, a subsequent action to foreclose upon a mortgage or a lien need not include the assignee as a party.  More importantly, if the owner pays the original lienor, and the assignment has not been recorded, then payment to the original lienor will be an absolute defense to the enforceability of the lien.  For more information about the assignment of mechanic’s lien read Lien Law Section 14.

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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