By Raymond P. Pepe, K&L Gates, Harrisburg
Mechanics’ liens grant contractors and subcontractors an interest in improvements made to real property to secure the payment obligations of owners to contractors, and of contractors to subcontractors. While these liens protect the legitimate interests of contractors and subcontractors, if mechanics’ liens impair access to credit needed to finance construction and expose homeowners to financial risks beyond their reasonable and legitimate expectations, mechanics’ liens may impede new construction in a manner clearly contrary to the interests of the contractors and subcontractors whose rights they seek to protect. Newly enacted Pennsylvania legislation attempts to better balance the interests of construction lenders, contractors, subcontractors and property owners.
The legislation clarifies and expands the extent to which mechanics’ liens are subordinate to open-end mortgage used to finance construction and protects the owners of certain types of residential properties from claims by subcontractors when amounts due have been paid to general contractors.
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