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Can I file a mechanic's lien? Is it filed against a trust? Am I within a proper time line?

California

In November, 2014, my father-in-law requested my help to remodel his rental house next door to his residence. The rental was in very bad condition. We made a verbal agreement for him to pay for all materials immediately and then pay me for my labor. I worked a total of 110 days, from about 7 am to 5 pm daily. He was on the job site daily. When completed, he requested an invoice detailing the work that was done. I provided this to him in April, 2015. He agreed to pay me, however, in December, 2014, my mother-in-law became very ill and was later taken to board and care facility, where she passed away two years ago. Since then, my father -in-law was not well himself and passed away May 15, 2020. His two homes and other real properties are in a living trust, which is administered by my wife's sister. She apparently removed my wife as Trustee, and appointed herself with a new trust as the Trustee, while my father-in-law was not well, and without our knowledge. She does not communicate with us, and we do not believe she has intention to pay this debt, even though she too was on the job site and well aware of the improvements I have made to the rental house, by increasing the property value by over a hundred thousand dollars. Invoice Amount: 110days At 10 hours per day, $55.00 per hour= $550.00/day X 110 days= $60,500. On May 15, 2021 will be one year of my father-in-laws passing. Can we file a mechanics lien successfully? Is it filed against the trust? Are there other options? Thank you

1 reply

Apr 13, 2021

You would have 90 days after completion of the work of improvement on the rental within which to record a mechanics lien claim. After 90 days, your mechanics lien rights expire. However, you may still seek to file civil claims for damages as a result of the non-payment even if you do not have lien rights anymore. 

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