After I have posted a lean what do I need to do to get paid?

6 months ago

I started a major residential remodel and approximately at 80% completion I had to $30,000 scheduled draws due and the homeowner refused to pay on a technicality of two pieces of tile missing. I tried to workout an appropriate adjustment until the two pieces of tile could be replaced any refused so I explained I will be forced to stop work until I can get paid and at that time he terminated my service. The homeowner asked me to prepare a spreadsheet explaining how much I was owed he answered with as soon as he could confirm that my subs were paid then he would settle with me. The homeowner was able to confirm that that was true and now he is holding my money because if anything that was not finished or completed runs over estimated costs he wants me to be responsible financially for line items going over estimated amounts. The dispute oddly is not over poor workmanship or the lack of work completed.

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

I’m sorry to hear that you had to file a lien – everyone deserves to be paid what they’ve earned, and no one should have to file a lien just to get paid what they’re due. Once a lien has been filed, a California lien claimant will have 90 days before a lien enforcement action (if payment is still not made). During that 90 days, though, a claimant can work to compel payment. Often, this is a good time to try and resolve the dispute with the property owner before further action becomes necessary. If the dispute remains at a standstill, many claimants have found that sending a warning like a Notice of Intent to Foreclose can work to force the owner’s hand. A Notice of Intent to Foreclose is a document stating that, if payment isn’t made and made soon, the lien will be enforced by legal action (a lawsuit). Considering the potential outcomes of a lien enforcement action, often, this will convince an owner to be more receptive to talks about payment. You can learn more about the Notice of Intent to Foreclose here: What is a Notice of Intent to Foreclose? Of course, if all else fails, enforcing a filed mechanics lien may become necessary in order to recover payments owed. For more on the timeframes involved with enforcing a California mechanics lien, this resource should be helpful: California Lien & Notice FAQs.

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