We have gotten to the foreclosure part of the lien. This will be our first time actually getting to this part and I'm not sure how to proceed. Do we need to obtain a lawyer?
Feb 6, 2019
It's relatively rare that a lien must be enforced through a foreclosure action, so it's not uncommon to have never been in that situation. However, the shorter the time period in which a lien can remain prior to an enforcement action becoming necessary, the more likely an enforcement action may become required.
In California, an action to enforce a filed lien must be initiated within 90 days from the date on which the lien was filed. An enforcement action is a "real-deal" lawsuit, for which an attorney should (or must) be obtained. While an individual may represent themselves in court, it's rarely a good idea; and, LLCs or corporations are not allowed to represent themselves.
Just like he process of originally filing the lien, there are specific requirements (in addition to the requirements of the court in which the action is being commenced) that must be met once an action to enforce has been initiated. These requirements are set forth by §§ 8460-8470 of the California Civil Code, and include a requirement that an additional "notice of pendency of the action" be filed with the county recorder where the lien was originally filed.
The lawyer you obtain should be able to talk you through the requirements, and give an estimate of the time and expense that may be required prior to any result, along with a general probability of obtaining a result in your favor.
Good luck, and I hope you get paid.
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Jan 10, 2020
Nate, thank you for the information. My husband and I are now in the same predicament and are debating the "probability" of getting out of the red on this job. We are a LLC and therefore much have counsel. In attempts to negotiate the homeowner's attorney (friend), they've offered not to sue if we release the lien since it is based on (of my own admission) a lame contract. The client owes ~$10K and our attorney wants $2K IF there is no counter suit. Will the attorney fees be worth a modest return, or the hassle?
We really don't have the money to hire an attorney so I'm requesting limited-scope representation. Hoping for a settlement, we've waited until the last week to start the foreclosure suit. It's scary to throw good money after bad; especially when your contract has holes in it. Do you have any advice on getting a bullet-proof contract?