Reprinted from The Local Ringer
Official Publication of the
Southern California Security Association
© 2011 Glenn M. Gottlieb
All rights reserved.
New Changes to Mechanics Lien Law Now in Effect
Glenn M. Gottlieb
As you probably know, establishing a proper mechanics lien is a tricky proposition. There are strict time requirements
that must be met for serving notice of the claim of lien and
for filing suit, if necessary, to enforce the lien.
California's mechanics lien law has now been amended to
add to the requirements that must be followed in order for a
lien to be enforceable. These new requirements were added
in response to complaints from many property owners that
they were not adequately notified of the pendency of a
mechanics lien that could adversely affect title to their
property and potentially result in a foreclosure action's being
Previously, the law required that most contractors and
materialmen had to provide a "preliminary notice" within 20
days of starting work or providing materials to a job.
However, there was no requirement to provide the
homeowner or property owner with a copy of the lien itself.
Effective January 1, 2011, a specified form of "Notice of
Mechanic's Lien," accompanied by a copy of the claim
of lien itself, must be provided to the property owner by
registered mail, certified mail or first class mail, before
the lien may be recorded.
The language of the Notice describes procedures involved
in the filing of a mechanics lien and warns of the potential
consequences if the claimant is not paid and the lien is
foreclosed upon. The Notice must use exactly the language,
and be in exactly the form, set forth in California Civil Code
Section 3084, including the size of the font, bolding and so
forth. A failure to do so will make the lien unenforceable.
A second amendment has added an absolute requirement
that contractors are required to file and record a notice of
the pendency of action (lis pendens) within 20 days after a
lawsuit to foreclose on a mechanics lien is flied. Previously,
filing a lis pendens was suggested, but not required.
Because of the complexity of the mechanics lien procedure,
you may want to consult with an attorney with experience in
this area, to make sure you have the proper language in
your Notice, and all other procedures are properly complied
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