Amount allowed in contractor’s lien

5 days ago

I hired a contractor to remodel three bathrooms. I refused to pay him the full amount because of shoddy work (eg one of his subs damaged a wall and it was not properly repaired incorrect work (he used the wrong color grout in one bathroom, did patching jobsand textured walls that had been virtually smooth, etc. We discussed a compromise but did not reach an agreement, and he kept making up new charges for things we never agreed to
The unpaid balance is $3862, but he placed a lien for $10280. Included in that amount is recording the lien and interest.
If it goes to foreclosure can the lien be enforced? And if so, can we prevent foreclosure by paying what the court says we owe?

Additional info about this contractor
Project Role: Owner
Project Type: Residential
Attorney Hunt Ortmann Palffy Nieves Darling & Mah, Inc.
52 reviews

The amount demanded in mechanics lien must be the lesser of: (1) the reasonable value of work provided by the mechanics lien claimant; and (2) the price agreed to by the claimant and the person that contracted for the work. An intentionally overstated lien is invalid and this may be a complete defense to the lien foreclosure action. However, the contractor might be able to argue that any overstated amount was unintentional saving the rest of the lien. If the contractor does file a lawsuit, there will most likely be other causes of action for breach of contract etc which could include these additional sums. So your better defense will be based on the claims for poor workmanship. You may want to make a claim with the CSLB regarding the substandard work. They most often will assign someone to come investigate your claim of substandard work and if they agree they will issue an award against the contractor for the cost to repair.

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