Proposed Law Would Allow Doctors/Physicians to File Mechanics Liens Against Real Estate in CT

While more people now have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, many of their policies came with large deductibles. These deductibles are commonly between $2,500.00 and $6,000.00. Any deductible amount is due from the patient to the doctor or physician providing the healthcare services.

It is mandatory for the doctors to attempt to collect these fees, and necessary for them to so for the health of their business. For patient this creates financial strain beyond the monthly payments they are already making.

The Connecticut General Assembly is now considering a Bill which would greatly expand the range of materials and services for which a mechanic’s lien could be filed. Currently, the law allows a mechanic’s lien to be filed for materials and services in connection with site development of land or construction of a building.

The proposed law, SB887, would expand the services to include “any other service rendered to an owner of land.” Under this proposed law, a doctor rendering medical services to a person owning land could file a mechanic’s lien against the land if the doctor’s bill was not paid. The doctor would have 90 days after treating the patient to file the lien, and the lien would take priority over any mortgage or transfer which occurs within that 90-day period.

When buying a home or commercial property, it is common for the Seller to sign an “owners affidavit”, stating that no work had been performed on the property in the last 90 days that could lead to a claim against the property. This was done to provide the Buyer, and their Lender, with assurances that the no fresh liens would arise against their interest in the property once it was conveyed. Now, with doctors and other service providers being able to file mechanic’s liens, there would be no way to protect purchasers and mortgage lenders against claims by service providers for services that are not related to improvements on the property.