Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SF - South Bay
Thanked 19 Times in 19 Posts
Rep Power: 6
My two cents...speak with a lawyer. There are lots of reputable lawyers who will chat to you, and give you an estimate of their costs (and likely process), without charging. Although I respect the people who say don't hire a lawyer - they may well be correct - calling one or more, chatting to them, getting free advice - that will help you to decide if *hiring* a lawyer makes sense.
You may also want to investigate the lien process in your state. In CA, there is a fairly long process which begins with the submission, and then includes a grace period for the owner to dispute, or otherwise settle, the lien.
Finally - as others have said - move fast on this. The longer you leave it, the greater your risk.
(disclaimer: Not lawyer, so not legal advice - just opinions! Good luck!!!)