› Preliminary Lien Notices

The purpose of
the Preliminary Lien Notice

By Diane Dennis

Even though we all expect to be paid for our work, and yes on time, unfortunately there are times when that doesn't happen.

These are the times that these prelim documents are most important - walking around muttering #*$%&, while it might 'feel good', won't get you paid... (been there done that myself)

Preliminary lien notices are designed to help keep you from getting "stiffed"

The main purpose of these documents is to announce that you and your company are present and that you have a financial interest in the property.

Even though your General/Direct Contractor (GC/DC) knows that you are involved on the project, his customer (presumably the owner of the property) may not know.

It's your legal responsibility to tell the Owner (and the rest of the financially interested parties) that you have a claim on this property, by processing the California 20 day Preliminary Notice form (or the preliminary notice form for your state).

If you don't, chances are you're screwed. :(

How The Preliminary Lien Notice Protects You

You've finished the job, and your general contractor is refusing to pay you. After you've gone to court and you've won your judgment against the GC, who is going to make sure that you get paid?

Don't look at the judge, he's a judge, not a bill collector. Sure he ruled in your favor, maybe even awarded you more than what you were asking for (hah!), but he's not going to reach into the GC's checking account to get your money for you.

Don't look at the GC yourself, he didn't want to pay you to begin with, remember? He's not going to write you a check, not if the judge doesn't make him do it.

Well..., not a good check anyway. You see, he knows what you now know, the judge isn't going to reach into his checking account and get your money for you.

So... now you're back to where you were before you went to court (except that, in addition to still not being paid, now you're in debt to your attorney), the GC/DC still owes you and he still won't pay you! What to do ??

Short of a broken knee cap or two (there have been times when I've wished I could do that - especially to a major sub-buster in Victorville, CA) ;) about the only thing you can do is file a lien on the property you did the work on.

BUT, only if you processed your preliminary notice!

A Mechanic's Lien Without A Valid Preliminary Lien Notice Is Most Likely A Fraudulent Mechanic's Lien

Filing a mechanic's lien without having done a valid preliminary lien notice makes for a fraudulent mechanic's lien, and fraudulent mechanic's liens are a punishable offense in some cases.

The individual states' requirements typically must be followed pretty much to the letter; courts don't appreciate it when legal forms are not processed correctly and on time.

Article Series: Preliminary Lien Notices




Preliminary Notices and Conflicting Addresses

If the address on the Grant Deed is different than the address on the prelim information given to us by the General Contractor, who do we send it to?


Preliminary Lien Notice Research

A preliminary lien notice won't do you any good if they don't go to the correct entities.


Who Do You Send It To?

Who is supposed to get your preliminary lien notice?


California preliminary notice, Supplier didn't do one...

Unfortunately, a prelim is required to file a lien, even if you're a supplier.


Preliminary Liens Deadlines Are Not To Be Missed

It's bad to miss the deadline, so bad that it'll cost you at least some of your lien rights.


Arizona Preliminary Liens

Arizona requires preliminary liens prior to mechanic's liens.


Who Do You Send Your Arizona Preliminary liens to?

Send your Arizona Preliminary Liens to these entities.


Image of, and link to, California 20-Day Preliminary Notice form

$14.95
California 20-Day Preliminary Lien Notices
Word and PDF versions

  • Instant Download
  • Unlimited Usage
  • Unlimited Free Replacement
  • Unlimited Free Support
  • Exclusive, In-Depth, "Exactly How To Do The California Preliminary Notice" Article!

Construction-Business-Forms.com


Don't Get Stiffed Working In Arizona

Don't get stiffed - An Arizona preliminary notice can help protect against that


General Contractor Was Paid But He Won't Pay Sub

What should you do? Do you still have lien rights?


California Preliminary Notice & Architectural Fees

I am an architect who is having difficulty with the final payment of fees...


No Preliminary Lien and the Owner Won't Pay

You didn't do a preliminary notice and now the {friggin'} Owner won't pay up


When a preliminary lien notice is refused

Did someone refuse your preliminary lien notice?


Protect your lien rights

Preliminary liens allow you to file "real" liens


Preliminary Liens and Arizona Deadlines

Don't miss the deadline for the Arizona preliminary liens


Preliminary Liens When There's More Than One Location

The potential ramifications of using one preliminary notice for several locations when they're all under the same contract


Image of, and link to, California 20-Day Preliminary Notice form

$14.95
California 20-Day Preliminary Lien Notice
Word and PDF versions

  • Instant Download
  • Unlimited Usage
  • Unlimited Free Replacement
  • Unlimited Free Support
  • Includes an Exclusive, In-Depth, How-to Article!

Construction-Business-Forms.com


Preliminary Notices and $$ Amounts

Make sure the $ amount on the prelim is as accurate as possible


Preliminary Liens and Non-Responsibility

Why you should serve the owner with a prelim even if he posts a notice of non-responsibility


Preliminary Notices and Signatures

Can the signature on a preliminary notice be a copy/fax or must it be 'wet'/original?


Amending Preliminary Liens

To amend or not to amend...


Preliminary Liens Protect Lien Rights

Brief information about preliminary liens protecting lien rights


Who Gets a Copy of the Preliminary Liens

Where to send the preliminary liens


Image of, and link to, California 20-Day Preliminary Notice form

$14.95
California 20-Day Preliminary Notices
Word and PDF versions

  • Instant Download
  • Unlimited Usage
  • Unlimited Free Replacement
  • Unlimited Free Support
  • Includes an Exclusive, In-Depth, How-to Article!

Construction-Business-Forms.com


Preliminary Liens Required Information - Wisconsin Primes and Generals

Information that a prime/general/direct contractor's lien notice must contain


Preliminary Liens Required Information - Wisconsin Subcontractors

Information that a subcontractor's lien notice must contain


Serving the Wrong Party

When working in Arizona be sure to timely serve the preliminary notice *to the correct parties* or there could be trouble


Preliminary Liens

A primer on preliminary liens


Getting 'Stiffed' on the Job

Preliminary liens can help save you from being 'stiffed' on the job!


Property Records are your Friend

Research property records when doing your preliminary notices


Outsourcing your Preliminary Liens

Thoughts about using a company that handles your preliminary notices for you


Preliminary Liens - a detailed, step-by-step outline

A detailed step-by-step explanation of how to process preliminary notices


Preliminary Liens

Tracking the paperwork, the proof of service, and the USPS documents for prelims


Image of, and link to, California 20-Day Preliminary Notice form

$14.95
California 20-Day Preliminary Lien Notices
Word and PDF versions

  • Instant Download
  • Unlimited Usage
  • Unlimited Free Replacement
  • Unlimited Free Support
  • Includes an Exclusive, In-Depth, How-to Article!

Construction-Business-Forms.com


Preliminary Liens and Notifying the Correct Parties

Make sure your prelims go to the correct entities


Mishandling of, or Not Processing, Preliminary Liens

Mishandling of, or not processing, preliminary liens is one of the top 10 mistakes contractors make




At one time the California preliminary notice form was mandated by California to be titled "20-Day Preliminary Notice Form" (exactly, word for word). The California mandate has since changed and the form is now known as the "Preliminary Notice Form" (again, exactly, word for word). Make sure what your state requires and make sure your forms are valid.

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