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how do i enforce payment of a job over 90 days

CaliforniaLien DeadlinesPayment DisputesRecovery Options

I have not been able to contact client in over 60 days. He does not want to pay me.

1 reply

Oct 18, 2017
If a 20-day preliminary notice was sent at the start of the job, the claimant is licensed for his work, and the owner did not file a notice of completion/cessation a mechanics lien may be filed within 90 days from the completion of the work. Depending on your role in the project, 90 days from the entire completion of the project may not have yet elapsed.

If more than 90 days have elapsed from the completion of the project as a whole, a mechanics lien would filing would likely be untimely and unenforceable. There are still ways to collect, however. A collections agency could attempt to collect the debt (they usually charge a percentage of the amount recovered), or a lawsuit could be filed against the client for breach of contract (or pursuant to other causes of action like violation of California's prompt pay statutes). This will likely require an attorney, but depending on the amount due, small claims court may be an option.

Note, however, that California has very strict licensing requirements and paths to recovery are pretty much barred for contractors who are required to be licensed but are not.
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