How to Remove a Mechanics Lien From Your Home

Updated on December 14, 2017

How Do You Remove A Mechanics Lien From Your Home?

So you hire a contractor to perform work on your home, and you discover that he recorded a mechanics lien on your home.  What do you do?  First and foremost, it’s important to know that a mechanics lien expires within 90 days after it has been recorded and becomes unenforceable.  If the contractor does not foreclose on the lien (file a lawsuit based on the lien) within the 90 day period, then the lien automatically expires.  But just because the lien expires does not mean that it is automatically removed from your property.  You can remove a mechanics lien only by one of two ways:  1) the contractor records a release of mechanics lien; or 2) you file a petition with the court to release the mechanics lien.

When forced to file a petition to release the mechanics lien, you must follow certain steps before filing the petition.  You must first send a notice to the contractor demanding him to record a release of the mechanics lien.  The notice must be given in one of three ways:  1) personally delivery, 2) mailed by registered or certified mail, express mail, or overnight delivery by an express service carrier, or 3) leaving the notice at the contractor’s business or dwelling with a person who is at least 18 years old and mailing a copy of the notice by first class mail to the address where the notice was left.  You need to give the contractor at least ten days to respond to your letter before filing the petition.  If the contractor doesn’t respond to your notice or refuses to record a release of lien, then you can file your petition.

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If you decide to file a petition with the court to remove a mechanics lien, it is important to know that the entire process, from the filing of the petition to the hearing, takes up to thirty days or more depending on the court’s calendar.   The judge must make a ruling within thirty days of the filing of the petition, or up to sixty days on a showing of good cause.  If the judge enters judgment in your favor and orders the mechanics lien to be released from your home, you can seek reimbursement of the attorneys fees you incurred in bringing your petition from the contractor; but don’t stop after the judge issues the order for the release of the mechanics lien.  The last step you need to do is record the court order with the county recorder’s office in the county where your house is located.

Need to remove a mechanics lien from your property? Have you been served with a mechanic lien? Contact Schorr Law today and see if you qualify for a free 30-minute consultation. We can be reached by: email at | text (323) 487-7533 | call (310) 954-1877 | You can also use our Contact Form to send us a message.

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By Carina Woo, esq.

See related: 3 Keys to Mechanic’s Liens in California