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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I sold a parcel of land and received a note as part of the payment. Yesterday I received a pre-lien from a contractor who is doing work for the current owner. How can i protect my interest in this land from being indebted and foreclosed upon by the contractors if they are not paid?

I sold a parcel of land and received a note as part of the payment. Yesterday I received a pre-lien from a contractor who is doing work for the current owner. How can i protect my interest in this land from being indebted and foreclosed upon by the contractors if they are not paid?

California

I sold a parcel of land and received a note as part of the payment. Yesterday I received a pre-lien from a contractor for work being performed for the new owner. How can I protect my interest in the property if the current owner does not pay the contractor and he wants to lien the property?

1 reply

Jul 10, 2018
That's a good question. A party that has an interest in a given property should first be sure to record the document that grants their interest in the land with the clerk of the county where the property is located. Being sure that a later encumbrance (like a lien) would not take a top-priority position is important. That recording should occur as soon as possible after the document is signed. Typically, regarding encumbrances to a particular property, the priority of a lien filing vs. some other interest will depend on which document was recorded first. Of course, mechanics lien filings in California "relate back" - meaning, the priority of a filed lien is as if the lien were filed at the outset of work. Thus, if a party with an interest to the property waits to record their interest until after a project has begun, a lien mechanics lien filed for work on that project will take priority. Anyway, regardless of priority, it's a good idea to keep a property free of liens. When not directly involved with the work on the property, it can be harder to prevent a lien filing. However, putting pressure on the owner to resolve the issue can help to make sure all payments are made. Also, reaching out to the prospective lien claimant could potentially help as well. Ultimately, though, it can be tough for a third party to prevent a lien filing.
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