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Release of Expired Mechanic's Lien

Los Angeles, CA |

I placed a mechanic's lien on a property that I was doing construction on. I did not foreclose on the lien within the time allotted by law. It has now been two years since construction completion. I now want to release the lien voluntarily, but I don't know how. I did a little research and found out that I can conditionally release it (i.e. if they pay me a certain amount to do so). I sent the conditional release to the property owners and they refused to sign it. I filed suit against them for the amount owed for the completed construction, but what are my options as far as the lien. They are threatening to petition the court for its removal, and I cannot afford more litigation and would rather remove it myself. Is there a code section or a form for doing so?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. You need to use a form entitled "Release of Mechanic's Lien" and record it with the County Clerk-Recorder n the county where the property is situated. The same place you recorded the Mechanic's Lien.

    You can obtain the "Release of Mechanic's Lien" form from my website free of charge.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. Yes, you can very easily get the mechanics lien removed. You do not need the owner's signature. You just need to have it released.

    To do so you either need to:

    1) Find the form somewhere online (see mechanics lien forms available here), fill it out and get it recorded with the county recorder.

    2) Use a service to do it. Zlien charges $125 to file cancellations. Fill out the online form and pay the fee, and that's it.

    3) You can hire an attorney to handle everything.

    Good luck.

    My Mechanics Lien Filing Service at Our number is 866-720-5436. Avvo's terms and conditions apply, answers on Avvo are general responses to hypothetical scenarios presented by questioner.

  3. You should release it by recording that Release of Mechanic's Lien Form. If you dont, the Owner could file a Petition with the Court to Remove it and get their reasonable attorneys fees in doing that. So, the sooner you do this, the better. It will ultimately cost you less to do it voluntarily.

  4. All you need to do is to file a Release of Lien that can be obtained on the internet or at the same place you obtained your mechanic's lien form. If your lien rights have expired and you refuse to release the lien, you could be responsible for damages and attorney fees in a lawsuit to Quiet Title. Please contact me with any questions. John W. Drury 517 548 7400.

    So there is no misunderstanding, this answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and you cannot presume that I am your lawyer or that my advice can be relied upon in any way other than for information only. You will not become my client unless and until you retain me.

  5. As the others said, all you need to do is record a release of mechanic's lien form at the County. You can get the form online. It will need to be notarized. Do it quickly. If the homeowner files a petition to get it removed, you could end up owing them money.

  6. Withdraw the mechanic's lien on your own as soon as possible. Otherwise, you are responsible for the actual legal expenses for the owner's petition to have the mechanic's lien withdrawn. It is reasonable to cost $2,000 to get the petition done. Edward C. Ip

    No attorney / client relationship established. The answr is for discussion and general information only. The lawyer had not reviewed any documents or contract prior to the above comments.

  7. 1. Expedite your notarized Release of Mechanic's Lien and get it recorded as soon as possible. If you wait, and the Homeowner files a lawsuit you will most likely be responsible for a $2000.00 attorneys fees judgment for besmirching their title (almost always awarded under your circumstances where the Lien is so "stale").

    2. However, don't forget that just because you didn't timely "perfect" your Lien, you don't have to give up on recovery of any monies legitimately owed by the Homeowner. The statute of limitations for pursuit of Contract Breach is 4 years. In other words, you can still pursue any monies owed to you, in Small Claims or Superior Court, despite having to release your lien.

    I hope this is instrumental in your decision-making. Jim Greer

    JAMES GREER is an attorney with offices in Del Mar CA and Boulder CO, practicing in the areas of Real Estate, Business, Construction Law (858.481.9006) ( Please understand, by way of disclaimer, that any response provided to your AVVO question does not mature into an attorney-client relationship and you are always advised to seek out a local attorney so that all of your information can be conveyed and responded to appropriately.

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