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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 12: Written contract; recording of bond; form; enforcement

Section 12. Any person, including the owner, in interest in connection with a written contract covered by section two or section four may cause to be recorded in the registry of deeds in the county or district where the land lies a bond of a surety company authorized to do a surety business in Massachusetts and in a penal sum equal to the contract sum or, if the contract does not contain a contract sum, in a penal sum equal to that person's fair estimate of the contract sum, all as set forth in the certificate on the bond. The bond shall describe the land in such detail as is required in a common conveyance of land, and shall be in the following form:?

Know All Men By These Presents:

That we . . . . . . . . . . . .<\/y> of . . . . . . . . . . . .<\/y> in the County of . . . . . . . . and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as principal, and . . . . . . . . a surety company organized under the laws of . . . . . . . . and authorized to do business in the Commonwealth as a surety company, are holden and stand firmly bound and obliged unto . . . . . . . . Register of Deeds for the . . . . . . . . District, County of . . . . . . . . . . . .<\/y>, in the principal sum of . . . . . . . . . . Dollars ($ ) to be paid unto said Register and his successors in said office, to which payment, well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents.

Whereas, said principal is interested in the erection, alteration, repair or removal of a building or structure on a certain lot of land situated within the . . . Registry District in the Commonwealth, bounded and described as follows:

(Insert description)

and desires to free said land from liens for all labor and all labor and materials entitled to lien protection under chapter 254 and amendments thereto;

NOW, THEREFORE, the condition of this obligation is such that if the Principal shall pay for all labor and for all labor and materials entitled to lien protection under chapter 254 and amendments thereto under the contract referred to in the Certificate in this bond, irrespective of any agreement made between him and the owner or any other persons now interested or who may hereinafter be interested therein, then the above written obligation shall be null and void, otherwise to remain in full force and effect.

This bond is made for the use and benefit of all persons entitled to file the documents for lien protection as provided in Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 254 and they and each of them are hereby made Obligees hereunder, and in case of the failure of the principal to carry out the provisions of this bond made for their use and benefit they and each of them may sue hereon in their own name.

Signed, sealed and delivered this . . . . . day of . . . . ., (insert year).



. . . . ., principal on the above bond, hereby certify that the (estimated) contract price for the proposed work to be performed on the land described in the above bond under a written contract between . . . . . . . and . . . . . . dated . . . . . ., . . . . . . (insert year), is . . . . . . Dollars ($ ).


After the recording of any such bond no lien under this chapter shall thereafter attach in favor of any person entitled to the benefit of such bond and not named as a principal thereon for labor or for labor and materials performed under the contract in respect to which such bond is given.

The register of deeds shall refuse to record the said bond if it be defective in form or substance, but no party to any such bond shall be discharged by any defect therein as against any party who has in good faith allowed his lien to be dissolved by lapse of time in reliance on the bond. The bond may be enforced by a civil action in the superior court or district court brought by any party in interest. An attested copy of the complaint shall be filed and recorded in the registry of deeds. No suit or action on the bond shall be commenced after the expiration of ninety days after the claimant filed the statement required by section 8. Such bond shall not create any rights which the claimant would not have had, or impair any defense which the obligors would have had, in an action to enforce a lien.