Free California Mechanics Lien Forms For Download
Claim of Lien / Mechanics Lien
When unpaid on a construction project in California, parties may file a mechanics lien against the property, gaining a security interest in the property itself for the value of their services. We’ve written about California mechanics liens exhaustively on this blog, and zlien’s main site has a really terrific resources section that outlines the law in California related to mechanics lien filings.
Filing a mechanics lien in California can be a bit tricky, so you may want to read our How To File A Mechanics Lien in California legal guide. Remember to follow these crucial steps:
- Fill out the form completely and correctly. Include the correct property owner (verified by public records), and if possible, the legal property description.
- Mail a copy of the mechanics lien form, along with the statutory-formatted “Notice of Lien” to the property owner by certified mail.
- Prepare and have notarized an affidavit wherein you swear that the Notice of Lien was mailed to the property owner
- File the mechanics lien form, the Notice of Lien you mailed to the property owner, and the Affidavit of Mailing with the clerk. Make sure you follow all formatting requirements, have the proper filing fee prepared, and are not sending it to a busy recorder via regular mail or fed ex (you may have to walk it in yourself or get a courier).
- Calendar the foreclosure date — it’s 90 days after your filing.
California Preliminary Notice
Until July 1, 2012, this document was called the “20-Day Preliminary Notice.” The new statutory framework for California mechanics liens, however, changed this designation, and the notice is now simply called “Preliminary Notice.”
The California preliminary notice document must meet specific statutory requirements, and include specific language designed by the statute. Using the form above should meet these requirements. Be careful whenever using any preliminary notice forms, however, to make sure they are specifically formatted for California’s laws.
California preliminary notices should be sent by certified mail, and while it is not essential, it is a good idea to execute an affidavit of delivery to prove your notices were sent. Preliminary notices must be sent by anyone who did not directly contract with the property owner, and they must be delivered to the property owner, the prime contractor and the lender.
If you did contract directly with the property owner, you must send your preliminary notice to the lenders for the project. Additionally, if you contracted with a tenant or if the tenant contracted instead of the property owner, in addition to notifying the property owner you should also send notice to the tenant.
The Value of zlien’s Services
While forms are important and zlien prides itself on having the most complete and accurate set forms, there is more to filing a mechanics lien or properly sending a notice to owner than just filling out the form and sending it on its way. We provide these forms to our readers free of charge, but that’s because we understand that the true value of zlien’s service is more than just providing our clients with forms.
First, forms are fluid. The forms we provide above are simple generic forms for California mechanics liens. However, depending on your role in the project and the work you’re performing, these lien forms may exclude certain fields, or may change slightly in one way or another. Plus, you have to make a decision about which form is the right form for you to use. When you use the LienPilot, all of these nuances and variables are taken into consideration.
Second, there are a lot of steps in putting these documents together and getting them filed or delivered. A service like zlien that handles all of the logistics has a value that cannot be understated. Take a look at this blog post for a more detailed explanation: Why You Shouldn’t Use Do-It-Yourself Mechanic Lien and Notice Forms.