As of January 1, 2011 all mechanics’ lien claimants must give notice of a mechanics’ lien to the property owner. Civil Code section 3084 now requires the mechanics’ lien to contain the following language:
“The following statement, printed in at least 10-point boldface type. The letters of the last sentence shall be printed in uppercase type, excepting the Internet Web site address of the Contractors’ State License Board, which shall be printed in lowercase type: NOTICE OF MECHANIC’S LIEN ATTENTION! Upon the recording of the enclosed MECHANIC’S LIEN with the county recorder’s office of the county where the property is located, your property is subject to the filing of a legal action seeking a court-ordered foreclosure sale of the real property on which the lien has been recorded. That legal action must be filed with the court no later than 90 days after the date the mechanic’s lien is recorded. The party identified in the mechanic’s lien may have provided labor or materials for improvements to your property and may not have been paid for these items. You are receiving this notice because it is a required step in filing a mechanic’s lien foreclosure action against your property. The foreclosure action will seek a sale of your property in order to pay for unpaid labor, materials, or improvements provided to your property. This may affect your ability to borrow against, refinance, or sell the property until the mechanic’ s lien is released. BECAUSE THE LIEN AFFECTS YOUR PROPERTY, YOU MAY WISH TO SPEAK WITH YOUR CONTRACTOR IMMEDIATELY, OR CONTACT AN ATTORNEY, OR FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MECHANIC’S LIENS GO TO THE CONTRACTORS’ STATE LICENSE BOARD WEB SITE AT www.cslb.ca.gov.”
This boils down to requiring notice to the owner of the fact: (a) that the lien claimant must file suit no later than 90 days for the date the mechanics’ lien is recorded; (b) that the lien may affect the owner’s right to borrow against, refinance, or sell the property; and (c) suggests that the owner speak to the contractor, a lawyer or go to the contractors board web site for more information.
The change in the law also requires that when the lien foreclosure action is filed, the plaintiff must record a notice of pendency of the proceedings, or lis pendence in the county recorder’s office where the property is located within twenty (20) days of the filing of the foreclosure action.
For further discussion see Newsletter number 1 on our Newsletter page.
The mechanics’ lien law is making it more difficult to perfect your rights, you should consult a construction law attorney to make sure your company is protected. We are your Orange County construction lawyer, please contact us if you have questions or need assistance.