If the filing of a mechanic's lien does not facilitate payment to the lien claimant, the lien must be foreclosed. One of the issues faced in a foreclosure action is: What happens when the sale of the property does not provide enough money to satisfy all claimants? When this situation occurs, the secured parties are paid according to the priority of their claim. Very generally speaking, the priority of a claim is usually based on when that claim attached to the property, or was perfected. However, there are so many exceptions to that standard rule that sometimes it seems that it is not the standard rule at all. For example, many states give a tax lien priority over a mechanic's lien, or treat all mechanic's liens equally no matter when they were filed or when the work was done. A brief discussion of priority issues by state can be found in the resources section of zlien.com in the state FAQs.
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