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What is the difference between a Mechanic’s Lien and a Judgment?

What is the difference between a mechanic's lien and a judgment?
YouTube Video breaking down the differences between a Mechanic’s Lien and a Judgment

In representing our small business clients and handling business disputes, we learned that many business owners are unfamiliar with the difference between a mechanic’s lien and a judgment. The difference between them is actually a pretty interesting concept that can easily be found to be confusing. We know that it can be confusing which is why we are starting with the most simple part of a mechanic’s lien; what makes it different from a judgment?

Mechanic’s Lien

A Mechanic’s Lien is a useful tool for contractors, subcontractors, and material providers to use when a property owner or the person they performed work for / delivered materials to is refusing to pay. This is also a type of security interest in the property to ensure that payment is obtained from any further transaction involving the property.

This will be filed first to preserve your right to collect the money and only then is the exact amount owed figured out, after the filing.


A judgment is also a useful tool to collect money that may be owed. However, in order to obtain a judgment, you have to file a lawsuit and get a court ruling that you are owed the money. So unlike the mechanic’s lien, this will be obtained at the end of a trial or legal proceeding.

Extra Reading

If you want to do some more in-depth reading on the laws pertaining to Mechanic’s Liens in Pennsylvania, see below:

Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to update this page with our new posts and videos that go with this blog to help you better understand the benefit of using mechanic’s liens rather than waiting for a judgment to be decided by the court.

Contact Us!

We know that this can be a confusing topic, even the basics of it.

If you want us to point you in the right direction, call us at 215-876-0800 or fill out a contact form on our website. Our consultations are free and we are happy to help!

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Rebecca Belenky
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