Is it possible to get together with other mechanic’s lien filers on a property and file one complaint to foreclose?

Asked over 1 year ago - Redwood City, CA

When we filed a mechanic’s lien on a property because the home owner refused to pay the balance of our invoice for work he asked us to do, we notice 3-4 other trades had filed liens as well. The attorney’s fees to file our lawsuit to foreclose on the house is going to be more than what he owes us. 1. Can we rally the others who filed a lien and collectively sue to foreclose? 2. Also, if that is not possible, what happens to our mechanic’s lien, if one of those companies ahead of us files a complaint to foreclose on the property before it is time for us to foreclose? Would the first entity that forecloses void the rest of the liens on the property?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Wahid Ezzat Guirguis

    Contributor Level 9

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Yea possible to have one attorney represent all but there will have to be conflict waivers signed. We have done hundred of these. Feel free to call me.

  2. Douglas Patrick Flaherty

    Contributor Level 5

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . As a technical legal matter, when a claimant files suit to foreclose on a Mechanics' Lien, that claimant is supposed to name (as parties to the lawsuit) all other lien claimants. Mechanics' Liens on one project all attach at the same time, and all are given equal dignity, so the lien from the grader and the lien from the painter are equal in the eyes of the law, even though the grader did her work well before the painter did his.
    If you have a direct contract with the owner of the property, and there is not any good faith dispute about the amount owed, then the owner could be subject to a penalty of 2% per month on the amount wrongfully withheld, and the owner could be liable for your attorneys' fees and costs incurred in the lawsuit. (Civil Code 8800).
    You may have a variety of remedies for non-payment or you may have no remedies, but until you sit down with an experienced construction attorney and explain the entire situation, you may not know which situation you are in.

    Construction projects and the legal rights and remedies that flow from them are legally technical and factually... more
  3. Cathleen M Curl

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . Yes, I agree that it is possible for all of the lien claimants to band together and collectively sue to foreclose. There are conflict waivers of interest that everyone needs to sign. It can be troublesome, however, if it turns out there are problems with the work of 1 or more of the other contractors. All of the lien claimants would be named as parties in the action so no one would be able to foreclose first.

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