1. Home
  2. >>
  3. Mechanic's Lien Law Articles
  4. >>
  5. Mechanics Lien Form, Attorney Fees, and Interest

Mechanics Lien Form, Attorney Fees, and Interest

Can attorney fees and interest be added to the amount stated, or the judgment entered, on the mechanics lien form?

Attorneys fees and interest may not be added to either:

  • A) The amount stated on a mechanic's lien form or
  • B) The amount of the judgment entered on the mechanic's lien

The amount stated on the mechanic's lien form cannot include attorneys fees and interest.

However, a mechanic's lien form may note that 10% interest is also owed on top of the principal amount of the mechanic's lien.

Interest can be recovered but it can't be added. Attorney fees can't be added but can be recovered, under a separate lawsuit.

Interest can be recovered as part of a judgment on a lawsuit foreclosing on the mechanic's lien.

At trial, the amount of the mechanic's lien is determined, and interest on this amount will be added to the judgment amount at the statutory rate of 10% per year.

The date from which interest starts is unclear, but is likely the date that the claimant became owed by his customer.

Attorney's fees not included in judgment

Attorneys' fees will not be included in the amount of the judgment related to the mechanic's lien, even if the claimant has an attorneys' fees provision in his contract.

However, attorneys' fees are still recoverable from the claimant's customer via a separate cause of action (lawsuit) for breach of contract.

There are several requirements prior to filing a lawsuit on a mechanic's lien.

Legal right to collect interest

Interest may be recovered via the judgment on the mechanic's lien form, but no legal right to interest exists until a judgment is entered.

Because of this, a claimant may have a hard time negotiating interest with an owner who stands ready to pay the principal amount of a mechanic's lien before a lawsuit is filed (or even if a lawsuit is filed but the trial has not yet been held).

A claimant may have a hard time negotiating interest with an owner if it hasn't been ordered by a judge.

Thank you to Dave Barnier for the above information. :) Mr. Barnier is a practicing litigation attorney in San Diego CA and can be reached at 619.682.4842.

The information in this article is based upon California law current at the time of writing and is provided for general information, only. The information provided illustrates laws and legal principals in general. Any information or analysis presented in this article is intended solely to educate the reader on general issues. A comprehensive review of facts, documents, and applicable laws is always required before any attorney can competently provide any legal advice regarding any particular situation. In short: Please do not rely on any part of this article when analyzing any specific situation affecting you or your business.

California Mechanics Lien Form
Word and PDF

Instant Download
Unlimited Usage!

Includes In-Depth Instructions

Now you have access 24/7 to this growing, up-to-date information available on lien laws – and it’s all written in plain English so that it’s easy to understand!

Please scroll down, below the comments box, for a series of articles on mechanics lien law...

Bookmark me!

Bookmark my site and let me help you with your construction project management - together we'll crush the chaos of contracting!

Be sure to subscribe to my free newsletter to stay updated on happenings here at the site, updates to the downloadable construction forms, and ongoing news in the construction world.

Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

New! Comments

Please leave me your comments below. Facebook doesn't notify me of comments but I'm tickled when I come across them and I always respond when I see them.

Article Series: Mechanic's Lien Law

Mechanic's lien laws

Lack of in-depth knowledge, or access to information, will cost you.

How to file a California mechanic's lien: 3 easy steps

It can seem intimidating but really, filing the mechanic's lien is the easy part...

Extending a mechanic's lien

Can, and should, a mechanic's lien be extended?

Notice to owner

How to prepare and serve this important document

Mechanics Lien Form Dollar Amounts

The value of a mechanic's lien isn't always equal to the contract balance owed to the claimant at the end of the project.

California Mechanics Lien Form
Excel and PDF

Instant Download
Unlimited Usage!
Includes In-Depth Instructions


Mechanics Lien Form, Attorney Fees, and Interest

You can collect both, in different manners, but neither can be added to the mechanics lien form.

Mechanics Lien Judgment vs Money Judgment

There are definite differences between them.

Filing a Mechanic's Lien in Colorado

Contains an infographic with easy step-by-step information on how to file a mechanic's lien in Colorado.

How soon can a mechanics lien form be recorded?

If you record a mechanic's lien too soon you could lose all rights.

The California Preliminary Notice Covers Up to 20 Days Back

Just because you missed the deadline doesn't mean that all is lost!

The Mechanics Lien Form Deadline to Record

The deadline is either 30 days or 90 days, depending on...

California mechanic's lien laws, preliminary notices, and change orders

Do you have to do a preliminary notice for change orders?

Property Lien and Equipment Rental Companies

Can an equipment rental company file a property lien (aka mechanic's lien)?