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WHEN ORDERING A PRELIMARY NOTICE OR MECHANICS LIEN, CAN WE GO ABOVE THE DEBT AMOUT OWED?

CaliforniaMechanics Lien

IV INCURRED MORE FEES AND COSTS BECAUSE THE AMOUNT IS NOT BEING PAID. FOR AN EXAMPLE, PROJECT HAS A BALANCE OF $4500 AND I HAVE TO PAY A $269 FEE TO LEVEL SET TO SEND OUT A MECHANICS LIEN. CAN I ADD THE $269 FEE TO THE AMOUNT OWED AND ANY OTHER COSTS OR FEES? THANK YOU, JOEY

1 reply

Jul 23, 2019
Great question. This is an issue that's been brought up more than a few times here at the Expert Center. The amount that can be claimed under a California mechanics lien is governed by CA Civ. Code §8430. This section states that the amount of lien should be either (1) the reasonable value of the work provided by the claimant, (2) the price agreed to by the claimant and the person that contracted for the work. The amount listed on a mechanics lien is required to be the lesser of these two amounts.

In any event, the general rule is that you have the right to file a California mechanics lien for the amount equal to the value of the work furnished to the project. Any other amounts, including any costs incurred through the collection process, shouldn't be included. Doing so can jeopardize the validity of the entire lien claim.

For additional resources, you can check out (1) California Mechanics Lien Overview & FAQs or (2) A Step-by-Step Guide to Filing a CA Mechanics Lien
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