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When you work on a house or a commercial building, your labor and materials enhance the value of that building. But if you have a problem getting paid for your work, you don't have the same kind of remedy you would have if you were, say, selling used cars: You can't repossess your labor and materials. All is not lost, however. Most states have mechanics lien or construction lien laws that allow you symbolically to recover your costs — in effect, to "repossess" the value of your materials and labor. The requirements are strict but clear and there is no reason you cannot file a mechanics lien yourself. Since requirements vary from state to state, it's important