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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>We are beeing threathend with a Attorneys letter to release our "Ilegal lien" If it is Iligal why do we need to remove it ??

We are beeing threathend with a Attorneys letter to release our "Ilegal lien" If it is Iligal why do we need to remove it ??

CaliforniaLien DeadlinesMechanics LienPayment DisputesPreliminary NoticeRecovery Options

We filed a lien with Zlien last resource . General contractor is holding payments on this property for issues ( not our fault) on another job site. HOA sold a unit at the Lien property and that's where we put the lien on. Now the HOA AND GC is getting together paying a Attorney to demand us to release this Illegal lien. Saying time expired( 90 days) and we did not send a 20 day preliminary notice. Which is true this was our last try to get paid. But if its so Ilegal and completely and unenforceable why could we place a lien on it and what is our obligations?? Can we refuse to remove it or ? Thanks Susanne Treasurer/ Secretary Burlingame Plastering & Stucco

1 reply

May 10, 2018
Flawed mechanics liens are filed all the time - county recorders often have neither the bandwidth to scrutinize every claim nor the authority to do so. When a mechanics lien has a serious flaw - such as a missed lien deadline or when required notices weren't sent - a lien that has been filed may very well be unenforceable. So, a lien filing may exist in the property records and that filing can cloud the owner's property title, but if the lien is invalid for some reason, it might not hold up if the lien is challenged or if the claimant attempts to enforce their lien. While not an ideal scenario, a claimant can still use their lien as leverage and offer to remove the lien in exchange for payment owed. Ultimately, it's up to each individual claimant to decide how best to respond to a challenge to their lien - but it should be noted that threats like bringing a slander of title action or alleging fraud typically don't come into play when a mechanics lien was filed on a valid basis (i.e. construction work performed but unpaid). Such actions may be threatened or even brought in court, but unless a lien claim was filed in bad faith, the penalties don't typically apply. (More on that idea here: Frivolous Mechanics Liens: Intentionally Fraudulent vs. Honest Mistakes). Of course, that's not to say that penalties are definitely not a possibility - each claim and each situation is different. If a legal action is bearing down on a claimant and releasing the lien seems like a safer option, a claimant can typically do so without incurring penalties - and other options for recovery will still be available.
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