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Do we have a non-valid Mechanic's lien filed on us by a California Contractor

CaliforniaMechanics Lien

He filed a lien of 50,000 when I have proof that he was trying to get me to settle. He wanted to pay me $1,000.00 to walk away from litigation against him. He breached the contract on us twice and we fired him in 7-17. He claimed he had no money to finish our job and we had already overpaid him. At that point we stopped working on the house due to lack of funds. Eventually we got another contractor to complete where our contractor stopped in January 2018. I believe he also has a civil procedure error in which he had only 90 days to file the lien in the first place. Am I right about any of this

1 reply

Aug 13, 2018
I'm really sorry to hear about that. Unfortunately, some unsavory contractors and industry members abuse the mechanics lien process which can result in a plethora of headaches. Anyway, taking a look at the a should help. First, mechanics lien may be filed for construction work that has been performed but gone unpaid. Specifically, in California, a lien claim is limited to the following unpaid amounts: "the lesser of the following amounts: (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." under § 8430(a) of the California Civil Code. If a contractor has filed a lien in excess of the amount allowed by the California Civil Code, such a lien will likely be invalid as a result. Further, when a lien has been intentionally exaggerated, a lien claimant may be liable for filing a fraudulent lien. Regarding the deadline to file in California: A direct contractor must record his Claim of Lien 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. A claimant other than a direct contractor must record his mechanics lien after the claimant ceases to provide work, and before the earlier of either: 90 days after completion of the work of improvement; or, 30 days after the owner records a Notice of Completion or Cessation. Finally, when a mechanics lien filing has occurred, many owners find it helpful to consult a local construction attorney. The mechanics lien remedy is a drastic one, and something as simple as an attorney's letter challenging the filed lien can be effective to have it released. Regardless, an attorney will be able to review the pertinent documentation, communications, and information and advise you on how to proceed. Further, these articles may be helpful: A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now?; Improper Lien Filed on Your Property? Here’s What to Do; and How Do You Remove A Frivolous Mechanics Lien?
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