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Step 1- The Preliminary Notice

Preliminary 20-day notice is required by every person who does not have direct contract with owner or contractor and who furnishes labor, service, equipment, or material for which lien or payment bond may be claimed, or for which stop notice can be given.

The Notice must:

1. be given to specific individuals and entities;

2. be served within 20 days of starting work;

3. include all required content such as work description, contact information and sufficient job site description;

4. an estimate of the total price of the work to be provided; and

5. be properly served.

 Step 2- The Mechanics’ Lien

The Mechanics’ Lien can really assist a contractor in getting paid for work. The Mechanics’ Lien must be signed and verified by claimant or its agent and include:

  1. a statement of claimant’s demand after deducting all just credits and offsets
  2. the owner’s name (or presumed owner) if known
  3. general statement of work claimant furnished
  4. name of person who employed claimant or to whom claimant furnished work
  5. description of site sufficient for identification
  6. the Claimant’s contact information
  7. Proof of Service
  8. Statutory language required by the California Civil Code

The Mechanics’ Lien must be recorded in the county where the project is located  by the required time after completion of the work to allow for enforcement of lien rights.

Step 3- Lawsuit to Enforce the Mechanics’ Lien

After the Mechanics’ Lien has been properly recorded, an action (lawsuit) to foreclose the Mechanics’ Lien must generally be brought in proper court within 90 days of recordation of lien. The lawsuit must be brought in the county where the property is located.

If a claimant fails to file a lawsuit to foreclose the Mechanics’ Lien within statutory deadline, the lien is automatically unenforceable and you waive your right to enforce the lien.

Get Help from an Attorney to Protect your Rights

A lawyer can assist you with this process, answer your questions and help you to try to get paid.

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Lisa Wills of the Law Offices of Lisa D. Wills is a skilled construction law attorney in Pleasanton, CA helping owners and contractors benefit from her experience. For questions concerning construction law, contact Lisa Wills at the Law Offices of Lisa D. Wills or call (925) 463-9000.

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