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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Can we also put a mechanics lien on the property for the remainder due to us? Also, what if we have to foreclose on property to get our money, will that negate the mechanics lien or will that be secondary?

Can we also put a mechanics lien on the property for the remainder due to us? Also, what if we have to foreclose on property to get our money, will that negate the mechanics lien or will that be secondary?

CaliforniaRight to Lien

We built and financed daughter's house and hold a promissory note and deed of trust for 300k. There were options to renegotiate terms if they went over that amount but we didn't do that, we just kept the receipts to deal with it at the end of construction.My husband is licensed contractor in CA. Now they are divorcing. We are primary lienholder but only for that amount.

1 reply

Jul 9, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. Mechanics liens are a remedy for those in the construction industry to secure payment for work provided. A mechanics lien may be available for labor, services, and/or materials provided for a project, but for other functions such as financing, a lien would not be appropriate. Anyway, under § 8430 of the California Civil Code, those who provide lienable work may file a lien for the lesser of: "(1) The reasonable value of the work provided by the claimant. (2) The price agreed to by the claimant and the person that contracted for the work." So, while bills may not have been sent for the work, that work might still be liened for the value of the work. California has strict notice requirements which might disqualify some lien claimants. However, those under direct contract with the owner are only required to send notice to the lender (if one is present). Unfortunately, the deadline to file a California mechanics lien can also trip up many would-be lien claimants. It's a quick one - for direct contractors, a California mechanics lien must be filed after completion of the direct contract, and before the earlier of either 90 days after completion of the work of improvement; or 60 days after the owner records a Notice of Completion or Cessation. If a California lien is filed beyond this deadline, it will be invalid and unenforceable. However, if lienable work was provided, if notice requirements are fulfilled, and if the lien deadline is intact, a party who has provided construction work will quite likely have the ability to file a mechanics lien on the project property. For more information on that process, check out this Practical Guide to Filing a California Mechanics Lien or our California Mechanics Lien and Notice FAQs.
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