How to place a lien on the home of a contractor who committed suicide?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How to place a lien on the home of a contractor who committed suicide?

I am suing our contractor for 33K for abandoning our kitchen project and fraud. We served him but he committed suicide the next day. The only think he owned was his home where he conducted his business. Now I am suing his estate. Can I go to the Recorder of Deeds office and file a lien on the house?

Asked on June 20, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't legally file a lien on his home because you have no legal basis to do so:
1) You don't have some agreement from him (we assume) making his home security for a debt or dispute.
2) There is no law giving a contractor's customer's the right to file liens if the contractor does not perform.
3) You do not have a court judgment against him yet, which means that your claim that he owes you $33k is only that--a claim. It has not been validated by a court, so there is at present no enforceable debt.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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