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    Mechanic's Lien vs. Deed of Trust

    A mechanic's lien is a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property. With the unprecedented decline in land values these days, a mechanic’s lien claimant’s ability to get paid will hinge upon whether the lien claimant can obtain priority over other indebtedness that is secured by a deed of trust or mortgage against the same property and improvements. In Nevada, there are certain situations where the lien claimants can obtain that priority, even though the mortgage or deed of trust was recorded prior to the recordation of the mechanic’s lien. This is known as “priming" the mortgage or deed of trust.

    Given the potential for “priming” the mortgage or deed of trust, it's now as critical as ever that the lien claimant find out the status and amount of indebtedness secured by the property that is subject to the lien, and determine whether there's any basis to establish a case for "priming.” Here is some important information regarding this type of claim: 

    • Under Nevada law, a valid mechanic’s lien has priority over any mortgage or deed of trust "which may have attached to the property after the commencement of construction of the work on improvement."
    • "Commencement of construction” means the date on which either work performed or materials or equipment furnished in connection with a work of improvement, are visible from a reasonable inspection of the site.
    • Preliminary work items, such as installation of a fence or leaving a dumpster on-site may be sufficient to establish that commencement of construction would have been “visible from a reasonable inspection of the site.”
    • The definition of "improvement" includes numerous categories, including the demolition or removal of existing improvements, trees, or other vegetation, the drilling of test holes, grading, grubbing, filling, or excavating, constructing or installing sewers or other public utilities, a system for irrigation, plants, sod or other landscaping, and various other categories of work.

    As you can see, it's important for any mechanic's lien claimant who is seeking recovery for work performed to seek legal help. You can reach our attorneys at (702) 384-2070. For more reading information, click here.

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