Glossary | What Is A Pre-Lien Notice

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Why Use A Pre-Lien Notice

Pre-Lien Notices are useful tools sent to your customer prior to your lien expiry date. Sending the appropriate notice could be all you need in order to prompt fast payment from your customer for your outstanding account.

Some people don’t want to file a lien without notice, or view liens as harsh and believe it could jeopardize their business relationships on a project. For those with these concerns, consider the using a Lien-Pro Notice. The use of the appropriate notice will let your customer know you are serious about getting paid. If the notice does not prompt payment, you will then know that filing a lien may be required in order to have your non-payment issue addressed.

Sending a pre-lien notice alerts your customer to the possibility of action, and opens lines of communication to get those involved on a project talking.

Two Types of Pre-Lien Notices

Lien-Pro offers two different Notices based on the urgency and gravity of your situation:

Pre-Lien Notice: Our notices are best utilized as soon as you have completed your project or immediately after your last supply of materials. Depending on your requirements, this letter is available in two versions:

  1. Pre-lien
  2. Pre-lien Certified

Both versions remind the client that you reserve your right to take action if payment is not received.

Demand Letter: Our legal demand letters are best utilized if you have recently completed a project and have uneasy feelings about being paid. You may not want to file a lien just yet and your customer has told you that they need “a bit more time” or “a few more weeks” to pay you. A Lien Demand Letter sets a clear deadline for your payment requirements and lets your customer know that if you are not paid, you intend to lien. Although the letter states you intend to lien, your follow through on filing a lien is completely up to your discretion.

Remember: Lien periods are very short. Do not get caught waiting too long to send a pre-lien notice or you may jeopardize your ability to file a lien.

For example: If a lien period is 45 days from the date last on site and your customer has not paid by day 30, you may consider sending a Notice. When you send a Notice, you want to allow time for the recipient to respond. If the Notice indicates that a lien will be filed within 10 days of the letter if payment has not been received, you will then have only 5 days to file your lien.

If the Notice is sent on day 30 and you allow 10 days for response = you are now on day 40 of your lien period. You now have only 5 days to file a lien.

Be Aware of Lien Filing Deadlines

Do not get caught up sending a pre-lien notice if it will jeopardize your lien rights. Lien filing deadlines cannot be extended. If the timeline is too tight between sending a notice and filing a lien, a lien alone will best protect you.

In order to find out your exact lien filing deadline use our Lien filing date calculator.


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