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California Lien Law Changes Effective January 1, 2011 – Are You Ready?

Posted By Scott Wolfe Jr On December 15, 2010 @ 1:34 am In Lien Blog | 11 Comments

Back in November 2009, we reported that the California legislature had passed an act to amend California Code § 3084 and 3146, relating to construction liens, and the new regulatory scheme was set to take effect on January 1, 2011.   The effective date of the amendments is now upon California contractors and subcontractors.

You can read the Act amending the mechanics lien laws by clicking here.

Here are some key changes to the California lien laws:

Service of the Lien Upon Owner

Previously, there were no specific provisions requiring service of a recorded lien upon the property owner.   As Porter Law Group reported on a website bulletin, “[p]roperty owners have long complained that until they receive the foreclosure lawsuit they are often entirely unaware that a mechanics lien had even been recorded on their property.”

To address the concern, California Civil Code § 3084 will be amended to provide a specific statement titled “NOTICE OF MECHANICS LIEN.”  This identical statement must be printed in at-least 10-point boldface type on the lien itself….and it must be served upon the property owner contemporaneously with the filing of the lien.

Along with the printing of this text onto the lien, § 3084 (a)(6) also states that a “proof of service affidavit” must be completed and signed, and included with the lien, by the person serving the Notice of Mechanics Lien to the owner.

If the lien is not served, § 3084(d) provides that the “mechanic’s lien [shall be] unenforceable as a matter of law.”

Additional Changes

§3146 adds the requirement of recording a “notice of pendency of proceedings” within 20 days after the filing of the mechanic’s lien foreclosure action.  §3084 also adds that reference to the user of the term “mechanics lien,” when it previously only referred to a “claim of lien.”

Zlien is Prepared

Zlien is prepared for the upcoming changes to California’s lien laws.  Our Claim of Lien documents are updated to include the new Notice of Mechanics Lien language, and service of the property owner will be made as required by the statute.

Zlien can help your company manage the sending of these notices, record delivery and sending notifications, and record affidavits of service.  Let us help you Lien Smarter.


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