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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>i placed a lien on property for unpaid wages, and the owner says i have contract with his forman for $2,000 that was his personal pay. there was 5 other workers and over $50,000 worth work done. so i served preliminary notice and filecourt complaint and recorded lien. the owner filed a no contact order from police, or i go jail. owner says i paid for all the work. i had contract. the owner has no work permits. and court gave me date 6 months away. i want foreclose sale property. and would like to collect penality fees of $2500 for claim of unpaid labor and $100 every day not paid under labor code 238 do to the claimant. how can i speed up the process

i placed a lien on property for unpaid wages, and the owner says i have contract with his forman for $2,000 that was his personal pay. there was 5 other workers and over $50,000 worth work done. so i served preliminary notice and filecourt complaint and recorded lien. the owner filed a no contact order from police, or i go jail. owner says i paid for all the work. i had contract. the owner has no work permits. and court gave me date 6 months away. i want foreclose sale property. and would like to collect penality fees of $2500 for claim of unpaid labor and $100 every day not paid under labor code 238 do to the claimant. how can i speed up the process

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the owner property refuses to pay for labor, and is saying i had contract with forman for 2 grand. and the work order was minimal. it ended up doing a complete remodel. over 200,000 worth of work. or more i am just skillled laborer. i placed lien and filed court complaint and owner had place a no contact order by police. or igo jail. my court date is 6 month away, iwant speed up this process and collect every thing possable from him. labor code 238 say i am intitled to $2500 and $100 every day not paid. i am also exempt from lic. req. as an employee. i want sale his property and collect what i worked for. his property is owned. ther is no morgage.

1 reply

Jan 23, 2019
These are good questions, and I'm sorry you've been going unpaid. First, it's worth noting that the mechanics lien process and the lawsuit filed are probably not directly related at this point, since filing a mechanics lien doesn't require filing a lawsuit. However, to "enforce" or "foreclose" the lien, a court filing would be required. Once a mechanics lien has been filed, California claimants will have 90 days to enforce the filed lien before the lien expires. So, in order for a claimant to proceed with the foreclosure of the lien, it's imperative to file that action before that 90 day period. Typically, most claimants will want to use this period to resolve the dispute prior to having to foreclose their lien - and on the whole, this is usually a much cheaper and more efficient option. For claimants who are intent on filing an enforcement action, that action can be filed really at any time after the lien filing. Where there's already been a lawsuit filed, that lien enforcement action could likely be filed as part of the same overall suit. Regarding foreclosure - it's worth noting that filing a lien enforcement action won't result in the immediate sale of the property. Rather, that's one potential outcome, and the property owner will have an opportunity to defend themselves against the claim in court and they will also have the opportunity to pay the claim before the sale of the house becomes proper. Finally, in order to utilize Labor Code 238 and the associated penalties, a complaint must be made to the Labor Commissioner's office - to get that complaint started, this site should be helpful. Finally, as a baseline here, it's worth noting that attempting to resolve a dispute outside of the courts will generally be preferable (if such a resolution is possible, of course). While making a complaint with the Labor Commissioner might be relatively pain free, litigation can be expensive and particularly risky -but, sometimes it's necessary. Prior to filing an enforcement action, though, many claimants have found that a final warning - a Notice of Intent to Foreclose - can help avoid costly litigation. Lastly, if legal action will be pursued, it's a very good idea to consult (if not hire) a local construction attorney. They will be able to look at your circumstances as well as any relevant documentation and advise you on the best way to proceed. For more on California lien law, this resource may be helpful: California Lien & Notice FAQs.
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