The California legislature just passed an act to amend California Code § 3084 and 3146, relating to construction liens, and the new regulatory scheme is set to take effect on January 1, 2011.   While the effective date is still more than a year away, it’s important for potential claimants to understand and prepare for the changes.

You can read the Act amending the mechanics lien laws by clicking here.

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Here are some key changes to the California lien laws:

Service of the Lien Upon Owner

Previously, there were no specific provisions requiring service of a recorded lien upon the property owner.   As Porter Law Group reported on a website bulletin, “property owners have long complained that until they receive the foreclosure lawsuit they are often entirely unaware that a mechanics lien had even been recorded on their property.”

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To address the concern, California Civil Code § 3084 will be amended to provide a specific statement titled “NOTICE OF MECHANICS LIEN.”  This identical statement must be printed in at-least 10-point boldface type on the lien itself….and it must be served upon the property owner contemporaneously with the filing of the lien.

Along with the printing of this text onto the lien, § 3084 (a)(6) also states that a “proof of service affidavit” must be completed and signed, and included with the lien, by the person serving the Notice of Mechanics Lien to the owner.

If the lien is not served, § 3084(d) provides that the “mechanic’s lien [shall be] unenforceable as a matter of law.”

Additional Changes

§3146 adds the requirement of recording a “notice of pendency of proceedings” within 20 days after the filing of the mechanic’s lien foreclosure action.  §3084 also adds that reference to the user of the term “mechanics lien,” when it previously only referred to a “claim of lien.”

Levelset is Prepared

Levelset is prepared for the upcoming changes to California’s lien laws.  Starting January 1, 2009, the Claim of Lien document will be updated to include the new Notice of Mechanics Lien language, and service of the property owner will be made as required by the statute.

Levelset can help your company manage the sending of these notices, record delivery and sending notifications, and record affidavits of service.

Subscribe to our blog to stay tuned to lien law changes across the country.  An alert will be posted to our blog before the change takes effect in 2011.