Preliminary Notices - Notices of Intent - Prelien Notices

So Many Names, but Only One Meaning.

  • Preliminary notices, notices of intent, prelien notices all have the same meaning: I'm going to file a mechanics lien if I don't receive payment.
  • Preliminary Notice Requirements: Mandatory or Not?
  • Nearly all preliminary notice requirements have regulatory loopholes, but it's never good to have to figure out if you fit into a preliminary notice loophole.
  • LienItNow's Preliminary Notice Filing Service
  • The preliminary notice filing services provided by LienItNow includes the drafting, filing (if required) and service of the preliminary notice.

FIle a Prelien Now 

notice to ownerSo Many Names, but Only One Meaning

Preliminary notices are alternatively known in different states as "prelien notices" or "notice of intent" or "notice of lien claim" or "notice of unpaid balance" and perhaps even more names. Some states require that a preliminary notice be filed with a clerk, others simply require that the preliminary notice be served on the owner and the contractor, still other states require that the preliminary notice just be provided to the owner.  Whatever the name, and whatever the filing requirements, the intent of the preliminary notice documents is the same: to provide notice to the owner that a mechanics lien may be filed on their property.  Preliminary notices are like a warning shot in that they allow the owner some time to remedy a problem before things get out of control.  

Preliminary notices, notices of intent and prelien notices should be filed early and often to ensure that the value of a mechanics lien will be maximized when the time comes to file one.

Owners and lenders appreciate receiving preliminary notices because it allows them to look into the problem before their property is encumbered. Read more about preliminary notices by visiting's Prelien FAQ Section.

Preliminary Notice Requirements: Mandatory or Not?

Each state has different rules about who must provide preliminary notices, when they must be provided, and how they must be provided.  Some states require that preliminary notices be filed with the clerk's office by everyone. Other states require that preliminary notices be sent to the owner by regular mail.  Where preliminary notices are required, they are mandatory.  However, each states has loopholes.  For instance, often when a preliminary notice is required to be filed within 20 days from the first date of work or delivery of materials, the lien claim will still be valid to the extent there is money owed between the owner and the prime contractor.  But relying on these types of loopholes may result in a mechanics lien with a reduced value, or worse, no value. Don't wait to file a preliminary notice until the last minute.

If your state requires filing a preliminary notice at the beginning of the project, then make sure you send one at the same time you sign the contract.

If you need more information regarding preliminary notices, where and when they are required, and how they can help you, check out our Notice to Owner FAQ page.

LienItNow's Preliminary Notice Filing Service

LienItNow is a leader in the preliminary notice filing industry. LienItNow's prelien notice filing service is available in all 50 states. When you order a preliminary notice on LienItNow's website, we perform several tasks for you, including verification of the property owner, service of the preliminary notice, and filing of the preliminary notice if required. 

Preliminary notices are usually filed by those who do not have a contract with the owner, but some states require service of preliminary notice by everyone intending to file a mechanics lien.

If you're ordering a mechanics lien and your state requires a prelien notice, preliminary notice or notice of intent, check out our FAQ section to find out.  We also let you know if we think it would be useful to file another document, like a stop notice or a bond claim. For more information on preliminary lien notices and the other documents we file, visit our FAQ Section

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