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What are Mechanical Liens in California?

  • What is a Mechanical Lien?

A mechanic lien is like a “judgement” lien to protect “construction interest in a property”. A mechanic's lien is essentially a right geared toward contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers. The right to record a lien against property may then occur leading to the foreclosure of that property. Mechanical liens ensure that contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers are financially compensated for the services that they have provided. For a mechanic lien to be enforceable, the beneficiary must follow the procedure established by mechanic lien laws. Similar as when we have a judicial foreclosure of a defaulted mortgage. This lien applies to anyone who was working on the behalf of the owner as a requested in a building project. This may also apply who anyone who benefits from workers or give workers any kind of benefits, such as Union Trust Funds.

Anyone including but not limited to “laborers, engineers, architects, material suppliers, surveyors, equipment renters, contractors, subcontractors who made contribution to the “physical work” of “improvement”.

The California constitution provides that “contractors and material suppliers” have the lien rights. The courts are generally sympathetic over these rights, but payments are not always reflecting the original payments. California homeowners may sometimes have to pay twice when the lien rights disputes get to the court.

  • Preserving Mechanic's Lien
  1. Pre-Lien Notice: A pre-lien notice must be provided to the landowner in any case where someone has entered a contract with an owner of real property or has entered a contact with a contractor or supplier in order to provide labor or improvement of their real property. The notice generally must be provided 45 after the labor or improvement has been provided via mail or delivery. Though there are exceptions to the notice requirements which include the contractor being management by the same owner, more than one family development, nonagricultural land improvements, etc.
  2. Recording Mechanical Lien's Statement: Suppliers or subcontractors must prepare a mechanic's lien statement which must be recorded via county recorder or registrars of titles vis mail or served personally. This recording must be served within 120 days of the last project worked upon by the subcontractor or supplier.
  3. Foreclosure Action: Foreclosure complaints must be filed within one year of the last project with the district court. This complaint must include all parties having interest in the real property or land.

If you need to have a lien against a property and receive compensations or need to defend against an unjust claim, contact an attorney Ramona Kennedy to learn your rights today.

It is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case. 

Attorney Ramona Kennedy cares about your case and will fight for you.

You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge. 

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