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Mechanics Liens V. Other Recovery Options Under Florida Construction Laws


As a Florida construction contractor, you are well-aware that mechanics liens are among the most effective tools for enforcing payment for services, labor, and materials. Florida’s mechanics lien statute protects the interests of subcontractors and those not in privity with the property owner in the event of nonpayment for construction services. By complying with the statutory requirements and deadlines, qualifying companies have a lien that attaches to the property. Not only does the lien serve as notice of an encumbrance on the property, but a subcontractor can sue to enforce payment.

Still, despite the fact that a mechanics lien is one of most effective tools for getting paid, not all subcontractors use them. While you may have reasons for not going through the process, it is important to balance them with the legal remedies at your disposal. A Florida construction liens lawyer can advise you on liens versus other recovery options available under state law. 

Promissory Note 

Companies use these documents as protection in a wide range of business transactions, and they are enforceable in court. By signing a promissory note, the recipient of construction services or materials is admitting that the debt exists and promising to pay according to the terms. However, the document does not represent an encumbrance on property until you sue and get a judgment. There is nothing preventing the owner from selling while you fight nonpayment in court.

 Settlement Agreement 

This contract is similar to a promissory note, except that the parties agree that the payment will be submitted at some date in the future. A settlement agreement is used most often when a dispute already exists, and the parties are seeking to work out disagreements without disruptions in the construction schedule.

While the parties can resolve disagreements and work out a payment plan via a settlement agreement, it will be necessary to sue for a breach of contract action if the payor does not comply. For this reason, it may be smart to include a “Confession of Judgment” that you can introduce in court as proof of the debt. 

Joint Checks 

With this arrangement, all parties agree that payment will be through a check made out to certain recipients jointly. Amounts are disbursed in accordance with some other agreement, which can lead to confusion and conflicts over shares.

 Personal Guaranty 

These documents are useful at the kickoff of a construction project, and many contractors incorporate them with credit applications. However, keep in mind that a personal guaranty is only effective when the individual signing it has the assets to back it. 

Contact Our Florida Construction Liens Attorneys for More Information

These methods for recovering payment may be useful in getting payment, but you can see how filing a mechanics lien is a more streamlined, cost-effective, and efficient process. Our experienced lawyers at Linkhorst Law Firm, P.A. are ready to advise you and assist with the paperwork to ensure protection of your interests. Please contact us today to set up a consultation at our offices in Palm Beach County.



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