What is a Mechanics' Lien
A mechanics' lien is a statutory device that allows an unpaid material supplier, subcontractor, or contractor to acquire a security interest in the title of the real property being improved. Once the lien is properly served and filed, the real property becomes collateral for the unpaid obligation.
If the lien claimant remains unpaid, the lien claimant can "perfect" the lien by filing suit to foreclose on the lien and have the real property sold.
On public projects, since it is against public policy for a mechanics' lien to be placed against public property, an unpaid material supplier, subcontractor, or contractor instead has the right to file a claim against the required surety bond. In that scenario the bond becomes collateral for the unpaid obligation.
Both mechanics' lien claims and bond claims have specific requirements and timelines which, if not followed correctly, can be fatal to claim. Without being able to secure your claim with collateral, collecting on a judgment in South Carolina can be very difficult so do not trust your lien claim or bond claim to just anyone. Instead find an attorney who understands the in the ins and outs of construction law.