A Preliminary Notice Service, like most outsourced partners, can be a great asset to your business. Preliminary Notices (Prelims) that are prepared and served in STRICT compliance with the LIEN LAW Statute of the state(s) in which you do business, will raise the priority of your invoices to a much higher PAY STATUS, by those in receipt of your Preliminary Notice. They will SECURE your RIGHT to file a Mechanic’s LIEN or Construction LIEN should it become needed.
No question about it, you may prepare and serve your own Preliminary Notices. However, it takes a little more than just transferring some information from your invoice to a Word Processing template and mailing it off to your customer. If you want the Preliminary Notice to actually establish your lien rights, you will need to uncover the true owner of property being improved. A generally easy task for a residential property. But it can get a lot more complicated finding the owner of a commercial or industrial site. If you are not prepared to dig into it and notify the owner who needs to be notified to validate your Preliminary Notice, then you may as well forgo the process, because when push comes to shove you will be laughed out of the courthouse.
Then there is the Construction Lender, Bonding Company, General Contractor. The list can get quite long. If you do not serve all who by statute MUST be served, once again you may save yourself the time and embarrassment by not serving an incomplete or inaccurate Preliminary Lien Notice.
This is when a professional Preliminary Lien Notice service can be of real value. If the service is worth its salt, it addresses all these considerations and has a deep and thorough system in place to complete the RESEARCH and VERIFICATION needed to insure you have a solid document. When served on the true owner and others who must be served, it is received with an understanding that you actually know how to serve a proper Preliminary Lien Notice and that they should make sure they receive releases from you so they can minimize the potential of you placing a lien on their property. Of course the only way to get you to sign off on a release is to make sure you are paid. And, in spite of the wonderful concept of securing your right to lien, getting paid is what this whole thing is really all about.
Here’s a question to ask a perspective provider: “If my attorney needs hard copies of the research completed to prepare my Preliminary Notice, what will you be able to provide my attorney?”
You may get answers like:
- What research?
- What hard copies?
- We keep everything in our computer.
- We only have a copy of the served notice and the information on your request for the notice.
You may receive many other answers as well, but what you may not receive is anything your attorney may need to support your claim.
Make sure the Preliminary Notice service you choose has at least 18 months of hard copy backup and an indefinite computer trail of all the prelim notices needed to support your case. When you need to go to court, and surely that day will eventually arrive, make sure you’re working with Preliminary Notice service that understands that being your service is more than just banging out a notice when you place an order. The service must be established, professional, detailed, and there when you need them.
Think about it.
If you have a question or comment, this is the place to let it all out. We are a National Preliminary Notice and Mechanics Lien Service Provider and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding Preliminary Notices or your lien rights.