The lien foreclosure process begins before a dispute arises. If you begin protecting your rights before a dispute arises, it can go a long way toward improving your chances of successfully foreclosing a lien. If you are engaged in structural, mechanical, electrical or plumbing construction or improvements, you probably have either filed or thought about filing a mechanic's lien. There are a number of requirements for filing and enforcing a mechanic's lien. But there are things you can do before a dispute arises to make the process easier.
First, when you begin a project, provide the proper notice of commencement of work with the Secretary of State. Second, if possible, take pictures of exactly what is covered in your scope of work, before you begin working. When the project is complete, take pictures of what you did. Now, if you did it wrong or poorly this can come back to bite you. But if you adhered to industry best practices and the contract's scope of work, it will go a long way toward proving that you are owed the amount you are claiming in the lien. A mechanic's lien is not like a contract. You do not need to prove a contractual breach. You only need to prove that you did work and did not get paid.
Third, keep a journal of the days you worked on the project, the time you spent each day, and what you did each day. This will provide more credibility when you are testifying in a lien foreclosure proceeding about what you provided.