FAQ: Are We Required To Deliver A Notice Of Intent To Lien Before Filing Our Lien?

Short Answer:  Only in the following states:  Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Long Answer:  It’s extremely common for folks to not quite understand the differences between preliminary notices and notices of intent to lien; and further, to not quite understand when a state requires notices of intent to be sent.

Generally speaking, the states that require a “Notice of Intent to Lien” are in the minority. We wrote a blog post listing out the states that require notices and when these notices must be filed.  While every state is a little different, the “Notice of Intent to Lien” states typically require the lien claimant to notify the property owner 10-30 days before moving forward to file the lien.

However, the majority of states do not have any such requirement, and those unpaid on a construction project can proceed to file their lien without ever sending a “notice of intent” or warning anyone immediately before filing.  You can check out a summary of the 50-State Mechanic Lien Laws at Zlien.com/Lien-Law/ to get details about the requirements in your state.  Also, if you want to order a mechanics lien or notice of intent, you can do so on the LienWizard.

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Scott Wolfe Jr

About Scott Wolfe Jr

Scott Wolfe Jr. is the CEO of zlien, a company that provides software and services to help building material supply and construction companies reduce their credit risk and default receivables through the management of mechanics lien and bond claim compliance. He is also the founding author of The Lien and Credit Journal, a leading online publication about liens, security instruments and getting paid on every account. Scott is a licensed attorney in six states with extensive experience in corporate credit management and collections law, with a specific emphasis on utilizing mechanic liens, UCC filings and other security instruments to protect and manage receivables. You can connect with him via Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.


  • http://www.levycraig.com Rob Pitkin

    Missouri actually has (separate) pre-lien Notice requirements for both general contractors and subcontractors. Subcontractors must simply provide a written Notice to the owner at least 10 days before filing a mechanic’s lien. An “original contractor” (defined as one having a direct contract with the owner), on the other hand, must provide a separate Notice (actually in the form of a “warning statement”) to the owner early in the project – either at the time of contracting, its first day of work, or delivered with the first invoice/pay application. Many contractors don’t discover that they have failed to comply with this requirement until it’s too late.

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