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Who comes out on top in a fight for contractor lien priority?

June 1, 2012 – Matt Albrecht

Contractor Lien Priority Battles: Who Prevails? Albrecht Law

When land developments or construction projects go sideways, it can happen quickly and you as an individual contractor will often feel like you’re standing in line just hoping to be paid.  Luckily, with your construction lawyer‘s help, you will stand a much better chance of getting paid by using the contractor’s lien statute for your benefit.

But who gets paid first when the line of unpaid contractors starts growing longer?  Construction contractor lien foreclosures are paid in the following order when multiple construction liens are claimed against the same property:

(a) Liens for the performance of labor;
(b) Liens for contributions owed to employee benefit plans;
(c) Liens for furnishing material, supplies, or equipment;
(d) Liens for subcontractors, including but not limited to their labor and materials; and
(e) Liens for prime contractors, or for professional services.

RCW § 60.04.181.

This is why it is important to involve your lawyer early on to make sure your accounting and record keeping are detailed enough to support your lien claim.  As you can see from this list, it isn’t enough just to say you had a construction contract that was breached:  you need to be able to break out the amounts owed into sub-amounts to a fairly high degree of detail to be sure you have the best chance to get paid on your construction lien foreclosure claim.

If you’re afraid you see the writing on the wall on a construction project and are starting to worry about whether you will be paid, contact one of our Spokane construction law attorneys today to discuss your situation and let us see how we could help.

Albrecht Law PLLC

5105 E 3rd Ave Ste 101 Spokane Valley, WA 99212

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