I filed a mechanics lien, and seen to be getting a run around.
What do I do if they bond around my lien?
Mar 26, 2019
I'm sorry to hear that you've had some payment trouble on this job. First, it's important to note that when a lien is bonded off, that doesn't mean the lien disappears - rather, instead of attaching to the property, the claim "attaches" to the bond. Just like when a lien claim is made, once a lien is bonded off, there will be a deadline for "enforcing" the claim (filing suit). Of course, before that time comes, a claimant is free to negotiate and try to resolve the dispute with the nonpaying party and/or the property owner - and usually, that's a preferable option to taking the matter to court.
Generally, a California claimant who files a lien must enforce the lien within 90 days of filing the lien. When that same lien is bonded off, the claimant will actually have up to 6 months after receiving notice of the bond to file a lawsuit against that bond. During this time, a claimant is free to negotiate with the other parties to try and resolve the dispute without the need for legal action. This provides about twice as much time as a claimant would have to resolve the issue if the lien is not bonded off.
If the dispute cannot be resolved and filing an action on the bond does become necessary, that will entail a full-on lawsuit and hiring an attorney would likely become necessary. These resources should be valuable: (1) Primer on Mechanics Lien Bonds and Bonding a Mechanics Lien; and (2) California Mechanics Lien and Notice Overview + Statutes.