This past month, I’ve run a series of posts here specifically addressing preliminary notice and mechanic lien issues encountered by those in the building material supply business (Read the Supplier Series). It was desperately needed here on the Construction Lien Blog, as we didn’t have a plethora of resources written directly to this group, and those supplying materials to construction projects actually have some of the biggest challenges in preserving and enforcing its lien rights.
A few months ago I wrote a post titled “4 Reasons Its Smart To Outsource Your Preliminary Notice Work.“ Outsourcing preliminary notice and mechanics lien management to a company like Zlien is a smart decision. To come full circle on this Supplier Series of articles, I’ll go back to the very first post in the series addressing the challenges material suppliers face in the mechanics lien context, and I’ll discuss how Zlien can help your material supply company with each.
Zlien Helps Material Suppliers Understand When Notices Are Required
The first challenge highlighted in Top 4 Mechanics Lien Law Challenges For Material Suppliers and Materialmen is “knowing whether a state’s law contains any nuances applicable only to them that require preliminary notices.”
The summary is this: Material suppliers most frequently have notice requirements and it’s difficult to keep up with all of the nuances in state laws to determine when a notice is required, what the preliminary notice form should look like, the method of delivery required, and who should receive the notice.
Zlien can help with this problem because it uses a proprietary web-based software application to calculate a party’s notice and mechanic lien requirements based on basic project information. Material suppliers who use Zlien can essentially forget about all the complexities in mechanic lien laws. With basic project information, Zlien’s system figures out what must be filed, when, how and to who, and then simply does it.
Material Suppliers trying to comply with mechanic lien laws face the task of navigating a very complex set of legal requirements. Zlien manages that compliance.
Zlien Can Manage The High-Volume of Paperwork for High-Volume of Projects
The second challenge highlighted in Top 4 Mechanics Lien Law Challenges For Material Suppliers and Materialmen is that most material supply companies are furnishing materials to a high volume of projects. Unlike a subcontractor or prime contractor, for example, who signs 1 or 2 new contracts per month, a material supplier may be furnishing to 20, 50, 100, 500 or more projects each month!
Forget about navigating legal compliance issues, just think about the paperwork involved. Different projects and different states require different preliminary notice forms, each time a notice is sent it must be tracked to ensure delivery, and you must keep records of everything sent and the proof you have of delivery. Keeping this paperwork in order is a task of its own.
Zlien alleviates this burden completely. If your company outsources this work, Zlien is not only handling the paperwork burden of getting the notices and liens out of the door, but Zlien is also tracking deliveries and maintaining proof of delivery online in an organized database. If a company ever needs to prove they sent the notice (and they will!), Zlien will have the goods.
Zlien Operates Nationwide, And Can Help Wherever You Furnish Materials
The third challenge highlighted in Top 4 Mechanics Lien Law Challenges For Material Suppliers and Materialmen is that many material suppliers operate across state lines. In the mechanics lien context, this presents two big problems: (1) The law changes when you cross the border; and (2) You typically can’t use a single attorney or law firm in every state.
Law, unlike business, is extremely jurisdictional. Material suppliers not only need a system to manage the compliance issues that vary from state-to-state, but they need a partner in business who can help them everywhere, so there is one simple vendor to turn to when its time to send a preliminary notice or file a mechanics lien. Zlien operates nationwide, and helps material suppliers across the nation navigation mechanics lien compliance issues.
Zlien Manages And Researches Project Information
The fourth and final challenge highlighted in Top 4 Mechanics Lien Law Challenges For Material Suppliers and Materialmen is that most material suppliers are without critical project information needed to file a lien or send a preliminary notice to owner.
As examples, material suppliers may not know the true identity of a property owner, the legal description of the property, or the surety who holds the payment bond on a project. The prime contractor typically has this information, and while subcontractors may not have it first hand, they’ll encounter the property owner or property owner representatives at the project while work, or at least be close enough to the project to have access to the information.
Material suppliers, though, just don’t have this access. They typically send materials off without ever stepping foot on site. Unfortunately, the basic project information they don’t have is information they need.
Zlien helps companies manage and research this project information. When working with a material supplier, our services include researching the property owner and legal property description on private construction projects. On state or federal projects, we research the contracting agency (public entity) and the surety holding bonds. When the information can’t be found in research, Zlien will go on to make formal statutory requests for the information. As a result, when its time to send a preliminary notice or file a mechanics lien, your company has the information it needs to protect its rights.