Monthly Archives: October 2013

Ease the serving of a Preliminary Notice with Softening Letters

Receiving a formal legal notice, such as a Preliminary Notice by certified mail can be a daunting experience for almost anyone. When you consider those who may be receiving a legal notice for the first time or perhaps as a rarity in their business or personal life, it can ignite unjustifiable fear or concern. However, when a “Softening Letter” accompanies the legal notice, the anxiety is drastically reduced and the acceptance of the legal notice is usually met with a greater understanding and appreciation.

This is unquestionably true in the Construction Industry where laws require that Preliminary Notices be served by anyone wanting to preserve their lien right for a project in which they have been contracted or subcontracted to provide materials or services.

While the Preliminary Notice is usually structured to inform and advise what action a recipient should take in order to avoid a mechanics lien, this information is usually couched under the title of “Warning”. The natural reaction to the word warning is fear causing the recipient to ask the question “Why are you placing a lien on my property?” The preliminary notice will always identify itself as a Preliminary Notice , not a Notice of Lien. However, the combination of the warning and the fact that it is a legal document served by certified mail can often be the trigger for an apprehensive reaction.

So a properly crafted Softening Letter placed in the envelope in front of the preliminary notice will help to take most of the perceived sting out of the actual preliminary notice. Using softening letters when you have elected to serve what the industry calls a Non Statutory Preliminary Notice has an even greater effect on putting the recipient at ease.

So why send a non-statutory preliminary notice at all, especially if it is not required by State Statutes?

The truth is that many companies who provide materials and services to construction projects throughout the United States make it a policy to send a preliminary notice on every job. By doing so they are able to communicate to their customer, and those in the prominent positions for the project, that they are participating in their project, they have no intention of filing a mechanics lien, and they are more than willing to provide the project owner with releases of lien rights every time they are paid or scheduled to be paid for their materials or services being provided to their project.

Using a Softening Letter to buffer the serving of a preliminary notice, statutory or non-statutory, is always a recommended process as a means to have your lien rights protected while not causing your clients to misunderstand and sometimes overreact to the receipt of a preliminary notice.

If your organization would like to start using the power of Softening Letters when you protect your lien rights, or would like to talk with us about our customized Softening Letters complete with your logo and electronic signature, contact us via email or chat live with us now.

CRM Lien Services is a professional service firm specializing in the preparation and serving of mechanics liens and related documents throughout the country. The level of research CRM invests into each and every document they prepare has proven over and over again to be one of the primary building blocks for securing detailed and enforceable liens and bonds claims for hundreds of clients. To learn more about all of our services,  Click on one of the following links: Pre-Notices, Liens & Bonds, Other Notices and Other Services.