Mechanics liens can cause headaches to homeowners

While this blog has talked about real estate issues that San Jose residents may face should they fall behind in their mortgage payments.

However, other types of liens, like mortgages, also exist under the terms of California law. In the worst case scenario, these liens can be foreclosed, meaning a California resident loses his or her home or commercial property.

One particularly dangerous, and complicated, types of liens is the mechanics lien. Under California law, those who build, add to or improve property can under certain circumstances record liens against the property where they did the work.

The idea behind the lien is that it gives the contractor or other repairperson financial leverage to get paid.

However, the drawback is that sometimes an innocent homeowner, who has been prompt about paying bills, can fall victim to a mechanic's lien. For instance, subcontractors have the option to file a lien against a property if they do not get paid, even if the homeowner or business owner has paid off the general contractor.

Mechanics liens are legally complicated, and property owners have a lot of rights and protections when it comes to these types of real estate issues. For instance, a homeowner can insist that a contractor or subcontractor strictly comply with all deadlines and legal requirements that the law imposes and those who want mechanic's liens.

In other cases, it may be that a property owner has honestly gotten behind the eight ball financially on a construction or home improvement project. In this sort of situation, having the help of an attorney to negotiate a reasonable compromise may be an important step.

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