we have bills regarding interior design services on a property that just foreclosed or filed bankruptcy
Aug 9, 2018
I'm sorry to hear that you've gone unpaid. However, it's important to first assess whether a mechanics lien would be a viable option for recovery in the first place. Generally speaking, mechanics liens secure payment for construction work performed and unpaid. To give rise to lien rights, the work performed must typically make some "permanent" improvement to real property. While the California Civil Code provides that "design professionals" may be entitled to lien rights, the statute is pretty specific as to what the term means in the context of liens. Under § 8014 of the California Civil Code, a design professional refers to licensed architects, licensed landscape architects, registered professional engineers, and licensed land surveyors - interior designers are not specifically contemplated under the California mechanics lien laws. Anyway, in the event that a mechanics lien filing is sought after bankruptcy has been declared, a claimant can actually attach their lien during the "automatic stay" instituted by the bankruptcy filing as long as the lien "arose" prior to the bankruptcy filing - meaning, the work that gave rise to the lien claim occurred prior to the bankruptcy filing (since mechanics liens relate back in California). zlien discusses the perfection of a lien in bankruptcy (and other details about the intersection of lien law and bankruptcy) here: The Indispensable Guide to Mechanics Liens In Bankruptcy.