The Notice of Intent to Lien document is in general quite interesting, and that’s because it’s a very misunderstood document. I can’t count the number of times folks have called me and asked whether they need to file a notice of intent to lien prior to liening. 90% of the time, in 90% of the states…you don’t. Check out this blog post that identifies those states with a Notice of Intent to Lien requirement (there are only 9 states).
Colorado is an exception. Not only is it an exception and a state that requires a Notice of Intent to Lien delivery, but the requirements are quite strict and the notice of intent to lien is in-depth.
For starters, Colorado requires that you attach a fully completed and executed Lien Statement with the notice. That means you need to have your mechanics lien fully prepared and executed before sending the Notice of Intent to Lien document. You must, therefore, have already researched the legal property description, the legal property owner, and had the lien fully prepared and notarized. That’s quite a lot of work for a notice.
Following this, you must follow some detailed requirements in the law in serving the notice. Namely:
- You must serve the notice at least 10 full calendar days before you file your lien. Make sure you leave enough time to record the lien before the deadline! If you wait too long, you may not have time to send the notice, wait 10 days, and then record the lien. And, don’t record your lien early. If you do that, you’re doomed.
- You must serve it in accordance with the statutory requirements. This means it must be served on the property owner either personally, or by certified mail with return receipt requested.
- Finally, you must prove the the lien was served by having an affidavit executed indicating the notice was served personally or mail served. This affidavit (and the notice of intent) must eventually be attached with the mechanics lien filed in the county’s recording office.
There are plenty traps for the unwary, so be careful. But most of all, at least understand the notice of intent requirement, and get on top of it before its too late.