Category Archives: Notice of Furnishing

Completion? Last Furnished? Stop Date?

Many ways to reference what most consider to be the same thing. However, everyone of these terms have completely different meanings and various concerns on those planning to secure their outstanding receivables on any given job.

Lets take some time to give each of these the respect they deserve and hopefully avoid compromising your lien rights due to misunderstanding.

First and foremost is the COMPLETION date. This is usually manifested by a formal filing of a “Notice of Completion” with the recorders office in the county where the property is located. But it may also be confirmed by the owner and the general contractor agreeing that the contract is completed, final payment is made, and no further work is required. In other words the COMPLETION is driven by the finalization of the original construction contract between the owner or owner’s agent and the general contractor.

So why is this important?

Why is it any different than the date you last furnished to the project or the date your company stopped working on the job?

One thing to consider is the lien law statute for the state where the property is located. If the statute declares that the time for anyone holding a right to bring a mechanics lien against the job will expire 90 days after the Notice of Completion is recorded. Then on the 91st day after recordation, your lien rights are gone.

Now there are states which declare that a subcontractor or materials supplier is allowed up to 90 days after last furnishing to record and serve a mechanics lien.

How does this differ from the above?

When you consider any project which may last many months or perhaps years. Many different trades could participate in the project long before the original construction contract between the owner and the general contractor is completed. However, if the state statute requires them to record and serve their mechanics lien, not later than 90 days after their STOP DATE or after they last supplied to the project. Then their mechanics lien rights will also disappear 91 days after they finish.

So how do you protect your open accounts receivables when there are so many variables which could impact your time to take action?

At CRM we offer a clients a service called “eAlerts Unlimited” This Lien Rights Tracking Program is driven by the STOP DATE, or anticipated STOP DATE, which is recorded on the date your request for a notice to establish your lien rights is received. Most clients do not know when they will stop supplying to the job. For some it may be a one time shipment, while others may continue to supply for months or perhaps for the duration of the project. One key point to keep in mind is: “It is not solely based on the shipments you may supply to the job site” It is also governed by each of your customers who may have ordered from you for the same project. Each customer will need to be named in separate initial notices that will protect your lien rights on this project.

The sweet feature of the CRM Unlimited eAlerts program is that it E X T E N D S your time to take action by the continuation of your “Last Shipped Orders”. The CRM eAlert Reports (Weekly, Monthly, or As Requested) will allow you the opportunity to compare the

“STOP DATE” on the report with your last SHIP DATE in your accounts receivables file.

When they are the same, you will need to consider the recommended action as listed in the report. When these dates differ, you may note your last ship date on the report and return, via email, to CRM. We will then extend your original STOP DATE to the new LAST SHIP date and your time to consider a mechanics lien will be extended accordingly.

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eSystems “Online Notice Management”

We have made some major improvements to our eSystems online document management program. Most significant is our online compatibility with the new Windows IE Browser. All Waivers and Releases are now available to be prepare without reformatting, print direct from Internet Explorer, and save as a .pdf file for attachment to your email or text message.

In addition, the login screens have been upgraded to allow personal modification and updates to Account Passwords, and our new “User Password” security. Allowing CRM eSystems clients the ability to assign an “eSystems” Administrator to edit and create all User level password protection.

If you are using CRM to have your preliminary notices prepared and served, then you won’t find a more efficient and effective program to manage your served notices and prepare current versions of Releases and Waivers of your lien Rights, then eSystems.

Best of all, eSystems is available to all CRM Open Account Clients for a small annual subscription fee of only $69.00

To learn more about using eSystems, or to have eSystems added to your account today.

Contact CRM at ContactUS

South Carolina Lien Law – Cover all the bases

Have you provided labor or materials to a construction project in South Carolina? Has your customer failed to send payment? If so, you may be thinking about filing a Mechanics Lien; however, before you file a Mechanics Lien to collect payment for labor and/or materials furnished on a construction project in South Carolina, you need to have a basic understanding of the provisions outlined in the South Carolina Lien Law. Failure to comply with a single statute in the law could cause you to forfeit your Mechanics Lien rights and lose the opportunity to collect on unpaid projects. In order to help you understand your Mechanics Lien rights in the state of South Carolina, we’ve outlined the basis provisions you need to be aware of prior to filing and serving a Mechanics Lien.

Keep in mind that this article is not intended to be a full representation of the law but merely a summary of the key facts you need to know about filing a Mechanics Lien in the state of South Carolina.

  1. South Carolina provides Mechanics Lien protection for many parties.
    In comparison to the other 50 states, South Carolina has fairly broad Mechanics Lien protection. According to South Carolina Lien Law, any party who furnishes labor and/or materials used in the “erection, alteration, or repair of a building or structure” or for the “improvement of real property” is entitled to Mechanics Lien protection. This includes contractors, subcontractors, design professionals (engineers and architects), surveyors, laborers, equipment lessors, and – in some cases – even security guards.
  2. All subcontractors are required to file a Notice of Furnishing.
    If you contracted with a party other than the Property Owner (say the General Contractor), you must prepare and serve a Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials to the General Contractor at the beginning of the project. It’s important to note that this is not a Preliminary Notice; it is a notice to reveal the presence of third tier subcontractors and suppliers on the job. If provided, the Notice of Furnishing acts as a payment defense at the primary level (Owner – General Contractor) rather than the secondary level (General Contractor – Subcontractor).
  3. If you’re a General Contractor, it’s a good idea to file a Notice of Commencement. While it is not a requirement for filing a Mechanics Lien, if you wish to regain payment and receive protection under South Carolina’s Lien Law, you should file a Notice of Commencement. General Contractors can file a Notice of Commencement with the Clerk of the Court or Register of Deeds for the county in which the property is located. The Notice of Commencement must be filed within 15 days of the commencement of the work.
  4. The deadline to file a Mechanics Lien is 90 days.
    Under South Carolina Lien Law, you have 90 days from the date you last provided labor and/or materials to the project to File and Serve a Mechanics Lien unless you receive a call-back to perform additional services or last minute materials. In the case of a call-back, your Mechanics Lien must be Filed and Served within 90 days from the date call-back work was performed. This is a unique policy of the South Carolina Lien Law, as most states typically deem this type of work as not lienable.

These are just a few key provisions included in South Carolina’s Mechanics Lien Law. For a full understanding of how you can fully protect your Mechanics Lien Rights, hire a Preliminary Notice and Mechanics Lien Service to prepare and serve your South Carolina Notice of Commencement, Notice of Furnishing, and Mechanics Lien. Using such a service will ensure that the proper research is done so you don’t have to forfeit your Lien Rights due to any misinformation.

CRM Lien Services will thoroughly research and verify all of the information included in your Notice of Commencement, Notice of Furnishing and Mechanics Lien so your Lien Rights are fully protected. We stay current with the changes to the South Carolina Lien Law so your notices are prepared according to the latest statutes.

If you’d like to request a proposal for our services,ContactUS

Are You Paying Too Much for a Preliminary Notice?

The cost to research, prepare, and serve a preliminary notice (also referred to as a “prelim”) is based upon some very simple principles.

  1. Time to conduct research and verify the information so the prelim will in fact be valid once it is served.
  2. Time to enter this information into the most current prelim form, which complies with the current state statute.
  3. The cost of the method you choose for the actual serving of the prelim. This is based on many variables. Example:
    a.) Do you want to secure “Proof of Receipt” by the entity being served at the time of service? Or
    b.) Do you want to lessen your cost and serve the notice by securing “Proof of Service”? (both methods satisfy the requirements of the state statute for serving a prelim)

So, how much should this cost?

Let’s break it down:

  1. Time to research and verify. As this is usually the most time consuming part of prelim process. It is safe to use an estimate of 30 minutes on average to complete the research and verification.
  2. Assuming that the data entry is completed using some pre existing template inside of a Word Processing or Database program. The data entry, printing, and proofing, should not take much more the 15 minutes.
  3. The method most will choose to serve a prelim is: “First Class Certified Mail”. This is the same for everyone who must serve a prelim. This cost is only $3.92 per service.

So if you have an employee who may earn $14.00 per hour, perform this service. And the prelim you serve needs to be served on only one entity (the property owner). Then your hard cost to have a prelim served may be only $17.92.

So now you should ask two questions:

First Question is: Why should I be charged $30.00 or $40.00 to have a service, serve a prelim for me?

The answer is: Almost every prelim served is served upon:

  1. The Property Owner
  2. The General Contractor
  3. The Construction Lender

That’s right (3) separate services and (3) different locations with (3) different proof of service.

So the base cost is more like: $14.00 + $11.76 (3 x $3.92) or $25.76

Keep in mind, we have not considered paper, printing, the trip to the post office, payroll taxes, etc., etc. Therefore the real cost could be somewhere around $28 – $33 per average prelim.

Second Question is: How can a Preliminary Notice Service offer to do the process for only $15.00?

Good question. Think about it. The answer is: They cannot. Even when you only have one entity to serve. The cost should exceed $15.00.

So how can anyone advertise a served prelim for $15.00?

One way is to skip the research and just serve the owner and hope that it works to protect your lien rights. The other may be to let you know after the fact that they will be charging you $15.00 each for everyone served. That could end up costing you $45.00 for one completed prelim.

Bottom line is: Use someone you can trust. Anyone offering a “Too good to be true price” is the type of document processing partner you may want to think about before exposing your customers. Once you have done the math, the true cost is easy to estimate. Anyone offering price below realistic cost must be cutting corners someplace. Is that the company you want calling your customers and serving your prelims?

For fair and reasonable pricing, turn to CRM Lien Services. ContactUS today for a proposal for our Preliminary Notice services. You will be glad you did and so will your customers.