I filed a lien on a nonpaying customer with Zlien what are the next steps I need to take?
Dec 19, 2018
I'm sorry to hear that you've gone unpaid. While I'm not completely certain what you mean by "reinforce a lien", I should be able to provide some relevant information here! Of course, if not, feel free to come back and pose another question! Anyway, once a mechanics lien has been filed, California claimants will have 90 days from the filing of the lien to enforce that mechanics lien. Meaning, once the lien is filed, the party who claimed a lien must file a lawsuit to enforce/foreclose that lien 90 days later if payment is still not made. Of course, mechanics liens rarely make it that far - very typically, further legal action won't be necessary in order to force payment on the lien. Plus, threatening to take further action can also help to get the payment talks rolling. When a claimant notifies the property owner and/or prime contractor that the lien claim will be enforced if payment isn't made, those parties may be more willing to talk deal. Plus, after all, that's what the 90 day window after filing a lien is for - it provides time to to try and resolve the dispute. You can learn more about the threat of foreclosing the lien here: What is a Notice of Intent to Foreclose? It's also worth noting that, in California, the timeframe for enforcing a lien can be extended if both parties agree, and this can be done by a document called a "Notice of Credit" which you can learn about here: Understanding Notice of Credit and Lien Extensions in California. But, if the dispute cannot be resolved, if the threat of foreclosing the lien is ineffective, and if the parties involved cannot agree to a lien extension - a claimant may be forced to choose between enforcing their lien (via lawsuit) or letting the lien expire. For more info on California mechanics liens, this resource should help: California Lien and Notice FAQs.
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