Mechanics Liens: 90 Days To Foreclose on a Mechanic’s Lien

You probably know that a mechanics lien is a security interest in real property for those that have supplied materials or labor to improve the property, and that their purpose is to secure payment for such labor and materials.  However, you may not know that a mechanics lien expires 90 days after recording claim of lien.

For contractors and subcontractors, this means that an action to foreclose on a mechanics lien on real property must be commenced within 90 days after recording the lien.   (Cal. Civil Code § 8460.) For real property owners, this means that if after 90 days, the contractor has not commenced action to enforce the lien, the owner may petition the court for an order to release the property from the lien.  (Cal. Civil Code § 8480.)

To be clear, this does not mean that the contractor is left without a remedy against the property owner – the contractor may still file suit to recover the monies owed.  However, after the expiration of the mechanics lien, the contractor no longer has a security interest in the property and cannot foreclose on the same.

If you are a contractor or subcontractor, do not sleep on your rights – once a mechanics lien is recorded, you have 90 days to enforce it.  If you are a property owner with a mechanics lien filed against your property, watch the clock – after 90 days, you can petition the court to release your property from the lien.

For more information on a free consultation, contact our Los Angeles based real estate attorneys at Schorr Law, APC, (310) 954-1877 or