Preliminary Notice Services
Construction credit carries an inordinate amount of risk. The best way to secure payment on a project is to take advantage of the mechanic's lien laws in the state where the project is located. Serving a preliminary notice is the first step in establishing your right to later file a mechanic’s lien or bond claim, in the event of nonpayment.
Getting paid in the construction industry can be tough. Fortunately, mechanic’s lien laws have been created to protect you and increase your chances of being paid for the labor and materials you provide. Approximately 40 states in the U.S. and one province in Canada require some type of preliminary notice, which is typically served upon the property owner and general contractor of a project. However, each state has unique lien laws, and you will need to be sure you understand the state’s preliminary notice and mechanic’s lien requirements before your construction project begins.
At NCS, we can assist you with understanding each state’s lien laws, as well as prepare and serve preliminary notices throughout the U.S. and Canada for flat fees. We are proud to say that 85 percent of the time, when a preliminary notice is served through NCS, payment is received without any further action required.
We understand the need for flexibility and understand that one preliminary notice doesn’t fit every situation, which is why we have constructed three levels of notices to best serve your business needs:
The Express Notice is recommended only for small claim amounts where complete information is available. NCS will prepare the document using only the information provided on the transmittal form and serve parties with a copy of the documents via certified mail.
The Premium Notice is recommended for projects with lower exposure, and where the client has reliable project information. NCS uses the project information provided by the client to file documents on their behalf. NCS reviews the project information for reasonability, including all statements, invoices, or other backup documentation. NCS will attempt to verify property ownership and, where required, will attempt to obtain a legal description of the property. NCS will utilize public records (assessor and recorder office websites), as well as an online resource specializing in real estate property records. Attempts will be made to verify the required associate’s names and addresses through corporate searches, as needed.
This is the preferred option for clients who do not have complete project information, who have high dollar exposure on a specific project, when complex factors are involved, or when legal advice is needed. The construction attorney, local to the project, confirms the project’s ownership, obtains the legal description where required, and applies the local statute. Checking public records or making phone calls to gather information may be involved in this process.
With all three notices, address information entered into the online transmittal form can be electronically verified as "reasonable" against the U.S. Postal Service database. Additionally, the Premium and the Express* notice options use NCS' proprietary search logic to verify the owner information that is entered into the online transmittal form.