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Mechanics Liens (click for more info)

October 25, 2007
Ten steps: How Can Local Contractors Keep From Getting “Burned” by the San Diego Wildfires?image

Do-it-Yourself: Do you really need an attorney or can you use Small Claims Court?The link below will take you directly to the State of California Small Claims Court information page. In many situations, the claim may be more economically handled directly with the Small Claims Court system. Review the information on the Small Claims website, it is written and designed for private citizens without attorney representation.
SMALL CLAIMS COURT CONSTRUCTION CLAIM INFO SHEET (CSLB)imageMechanics' lien laws summarized (from State of CA website)PDF

A Homeowners guide to preventing Mechanics' Liens
(from State of CA website)
(from the above referenced publication)

What is a Mechanic's Lien? A mechanic's lien is a "hold" against your property that, if unpaid, allows a foreclosure action, forcing the sale of your home. It is recorded with the County Recorder's office by the unpaid contractor, subcontractor or supplier. It means that any of these unpaid entities can claim a lien against the property until they are paid.

The prime contractor has a direct contractual agreement with the homeowner. If the contractor isn't paid, he can sue on the contract and record a mechanic's lien. But subcontractors, workers and suppliers don't have a contract with the homeowner. A problem occurs when the homeowner pays the prime contractor for all or some of the work, but the prime contractor fails to pay the laborers, subcontractors and materials suppliers that were hired to do portions of the job. If they are not paid, often their only recourse is to file a mechanic's lien on the home.

Jan. 6, 2004 Mechanic's Lien Law Reactivation of study (PDF)State of CA Law Revision Commission- Mechanics Lien Law (from State of CA website) (Note: Long, complex, but if you want to know everything about the history and proposed changes of CA mechanics lien laws, this is a good source)


State of California Links:
Contractors State Licensing Board
Contractor License Status Check by license number
Contractor License Status Check by Business Name
Contractor License Status Check by Personnel Name

"What You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor" (PDF) CSLB booklet covering aspects of every construction project. Written for the homeowner, it offers a detailed overview of all the necessary elements.
Abbreviated version in Spanish
Abbreviated version in Chinese
Abbreviated version in Korean
Abbreviated version in Tagalog
Abbreviated version in Vietnamese

"After a Disaster, Don't Get Scammed" CSLB tips on how to prevent consumer scams attempted by unlicensed contractors.

California Laws- Find California Codes.

California Contractors License Law & Reference Book- On-Line

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Law Firms in other areas of practice

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Workers Compensation
Atcheson & Kepler

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