In California, the process of filing a mechanic's lien has strict guidelines. To begin, to even consider filing this lien, the mechanic has to be currently licensed, have a legitimate reason to be filing for the mechanic's lien and must file a lawsuit. If a lien is filed against your property, it is generally a hold against your property. The common cause of this lien is if the contractor, subcontractor or laborer is unpaid. If they are not paid, this may allow a foreclosure action to occur in order compensate the workers. Unfortunately, this can occur even if the homeowner paid the contractor but the prime contractor did not pay the suppliers or laborers. The homeowner can be held responsible because they are ultimately in charge of paying. If you have questions regarding a mechanic's lien or would like to discuss your current situation, speak with a Los Angeles construction lawyer right away.
If a mechanic's lien is filed against your property, any of the following problems may arise:
- Foreclosure of your property if you do not pay the lien
- You may have to pay for the same job twice if you paid the contractor but he/ she did not pay subcontractors or laborers
- A recorded lien on the property title which affects your ability to sell or refinance the property
There have recently been many other changes to the process of filing a mechanic's lien, so if you are in need of assistance in your case, contact the Law Office of Steven R. Lovett for help. To avoid the mechanic lien, it is encouraged to request a lien waiver. You can seek a lien waiver from every supplier and subcontractor working on your project. Also, choose your contractor carefully, hire only licensed contractors and make sure they only hire licenses subcontractors. Have a detailed written contract that includes the schedule of payments and the list of all subcontractors, suppliers and laborers involved in the project.
Keep track of all the paperwork, keep the preliminary notice if you receive one. If the suppliers and subcontractors do not provide you with a preliminary notice, they do not have the right to file a lien on your property. If possible, pay with joint checks. This method requires both parties to endorse the check, so the money can go to the subcontractors and suppliers as well as the contractor. Lastly, file a notice of completion with the recorder's office right after the work is completed, so that the contractor and other parties have less time to record a claim. If you have further questions, contact a Los Angeles construction attorney from our firm! We offer a free telephonic consultation so get started today!