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Mechanic’s Lien Info

California:

Preliminary 20-Day Notice
(Subs and Suppliers—
Residential and Commercial Private Projects)

      When to Serve Pre-Lien:

Within 20 days of your first furnishing work, labor, materials, or equipment to the job site. Can be served earlier, including (recommended) after signing your contract and before furnish any work. Send by certified mail, on general, owner, and construction lender. In California, can serve late, but get a lien only for unpaid services performed 20 days before serving the Notice and everything in the future.

Preliminary 20-Day Notice
(Generals—
Residential and Commercial Private Projects)

    When to Serve Pre-Lien:

Only if there is a construction lender funding the project. Within 20 days of your first furnishing work, labor, materials, or equipment to the job site. Can be served earlier, including (recommended) after signing your contract and before furnish any work. Send by certified mail, on general, owner, and construction lender. In California, can serve late, but get a lien only for unpaid services performed 20 days before serving the Notice and everything in the future.

California Mechanic’s Lien
(Generals–Residential and Commercial Private Projects)

    When to File Mechanic’s Lien:

No Notice of Completion or Cessation Recorded: Within 90 days of completion of entire, overall project.

Notice of Completion or Cessation Recorded: Within 60 days of recording the Notice of Completion/Cessation.

California Mechanic’s Lien
(Sub and Suppliers–Residential and Commercial Private Projects)

    When to File Mechanic’s Lien:

No Notice of Completion or Cessation Recorded: Within 90 days of completion of entire, overall project.

Notice of Completion or Cessation Recorded: Within 30 days of recording the Notice of Completion/Cessation.

Note: Special Rules for Generals, Subs & Suppliers: If labor ceases for 60 continuous
days with no Notice of Completion or Cessation recorded, everyone gets 90 more days (a total of 150 days) to record the lien.

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