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Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.
The first thing to do is apply for a renewal of the license and petition for the license renewal to be retroactive. The information on renewing the license and doing it retroactively is at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Contractors/Maintain_License/Renew_License/General_Renewal_Information.aspx and the pages following that one.
You may also want to consider hiring a local lawyer to guide you through the renewal process (although by no means do you want to delay because the retroactive renewal MUST be done within 30 days of the lapse) and then to write the demand letter for your payment as well as to threaten putting a lien on the house.