How to Get Information to Fill Out Your California Preliminary 20-Day Notice

 In Mechanic’s Lien Law Updates and News

Under California’s new law in effect as of July 1, 2012, as usual subcontractors and suppliers must serve a preliminary notice on the owner, general contractor, and construction lender. Also under the new law, general contractors must serve the preliminary notice on any construction lender. But how do we get the information to fill out the form? Here is the rundown:

General Contractor’s Notice

Effective July 1, 2012 general contractors on residential and commercial projects must serve a preliminary notice on the construction lender. Before that date, getting the info was easy. California Civil Code Section 3097(m) required that in any written contract between the owner and general contractor, except home improvement contracts, the name and address of the construction lender had to be inserted. Section 3097(n) also provided that if there is a construction loan taken out after the start of construction, the owner has to give the name and address of the lender to anybody who has served a preliminary notice. This system worked well and almost guaranteed that the general contractor would have the information on the lender.

Section 3097 was replaced with new section 8202 which deleted this provision. All that is left is new section 8210 which requires the owner to give information about a lender that takes out a loan after starting construction. This doesn’t do much good because construction lenders almost always take out their loans before the start of construction.

National Lien Law has attempted to resolve this dilemma by the special notice that the general serves on the owner called “Request for Lien Info (General to Owner)”. Serve the owner if you don’t otherwise know the construction lender.

Sub/Supplier’s Notice

Before and after the new law, subs and suppliers are required to serve the preliminary notice on the general, owner, and construction lender. Under former Civil Code Section 3097(m) and current Code Section 8208, the general contractor must give information about the owner and lender to a sub upon written request. Use the form titled “Request for Lien Info (Sub to General).”

The owner is also required to give information about the construction lender under new Civil Code Section 8210. Use the form titled ”Request for Lien Info (Sub to Owner).”