Resources By State
State-by-State Mechanics Lien and Bond Claim Resources, absolutely free. zlien‘s resources are all written and curated by attorneys with construction law experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click your question to see the answer
- How Can I Get Legal Advice To Address My Issue?
Sometimes, situations arise that require legal advice. There are a few ways Zlien helps you get the legal advice you need.
First, we have a partnership with Avvo.com, the web’s largest directory of attorneys in the United States. Through this partnership, you can ask legal questions directly to construction attorneys near the particular construction project at controversy, and get responses absolutely free. Questions to Avvo.com attorneys can be asked directly through our LienPilot software.
Second, our founder and CEO, Scott Wolfe Jr., is a licensed construction attorney in the states of Louisiana, Washington and Oregon, and is available to consult with our clients at no charge. If your question is outside his jurisdictions, he can refer you to an attorney in our network of attorneys who can help you.
- Are There Contracts To Sign? Monthly Membership Fees?
You don’t have to sign a contract or become a “member” to use any of Zlien’s services. Anyone can order a preliminary notice, mechanics lien, bond claim, or any other documents for our low flat fee without any monthly obligations or membership charges. Some clients with a high volume of projects do choose to pay for Zlien’s services within monthly subscription packages, but these packages are optional.
- How Can I Trust Zlien, and Trust The Website Is Safe?
Zlien has been a trusted business since 2007. We are a registered Legal Document Assistant in the State of California (LDA #352), have a surety bond in that state, and have errors and omissions insurance covering our operations nationwide. You can view the licensing, bonding and insurance information right on our website here: License, Bond & Insurance.
Our website is Security, Privacy and Business Verified by TrustGuard, which can be confirmed in the footer of every page on zlien.com. Information sensitive components of the site are protected with a SSL Certificate issued by GoDaddy.com, Inc. Our servers do not store any credit card information, and all credit card transactions are processed through Freshbooks.com, an experienced payment processor that has strong security encryption and security measures.
- What exactly does Zlien do?
Zlien provides contractors, suppliers and other construction participants with a turn-key solution to the preparation and filing of its preliminary notices, mechanics liens, state and private bond claims, and miller act claims. Companies can order these notices and lien documents as needed for low flat fees, or they can pay us monthly to handle all of their notices, liens and bond claims. To help our clients manage lien compliance issues across the nation, Zlien also publishes a web-based application that calculates lien and notice deadlines.
- Is Zlien a law firm?
Zlien is not a law firm. Zlien is a legal document preparation company that prepares notices, liens and claims at your specific direction. While our website, web-application and staff can provide you with legal information, we are unable to provide our clients with any legal advice. For this, the advice of an attorney must be consulted.
- Zlien's Services
- How Much Does The Service Cost?
Client’s typically pay for our services in one of two ways: Pay-As-You-Go or Monthly.
On a Pay-As-You-Go Program, the client orders notices and liens as they are required, and pays for them at the conclusion of each order. Zlien charges a flat fee for each document ordered. Notices are $15 each, Liens are $195, State and Federal Bond Claims are $250 and Cancellations of Liens are $125.
One a Monthly Payment Program, Zlien will assess the volume of projects you’d like us to handle on a monthly basis, and quote a flat monthly fee that includes full-service of all of your projects (i.e. all the notices, liens, bond claims, etc. that are required). Depending on the volume of projects being serviced monthly, the cost could be as high as $42.00 per project and as low as $24.00 per project.
You can learn more information about our pricing at the Pricing Page. Also, we’ve made a video explaining Zlien’s pricing, which you can watch here.
- What do We Get When We Hire Zlien?
Every time you order a document from Zlien, the following will be included in our fee:
- Preparation of the document
- Delivering to the required county recorder, party, etc., and all delivery charges
- Research and/or Confirmation of the property owner
- Research and/or Confirmation of Legal Property Description
- Filing Fees Charged By County for Filing
- Use of the LienPilot System to Manage Future Deadlines, and Receive Deadline Notifications
- Evidence of Filing and Delivery Stored on Zlien Servers
- After We Place An Order, How Long Until The Lien Is Filed or Notice is Delivered?
Zlien offers certain guarantees about our processing times. While our actual turn-around time is oftentimes faster than the guaranteed time (usually 48 hours), we guarantee that all orders will be processed and sent for filing or delivery within 5 business days after payment is received for your order. We offer a “Rush Service” for $95.00, wherein we guarantee the document will be processed and sent for filing or delivery within 24 hours.
If you ordered a document that requires recording (i.e. a mechanic’s lien), county recorders typically record documents the day they receive them. However, some counties have back-logs, and longer-than-normal processing times. Zlien checks with the county before sending your lien to assess the processing time. If the processing time is longer than 2 days, we will send a personal courier to deliver your documents for no extra charge to ensure that the processing time is just 1 day.
- How Is Zlien Different Than The Competition?
Unlike anyone in the industry, Zlien offers a complete turn-key solution for those in the construction industry. Starting at the beginning of any construction project, Zlien’s system will inform your company of what it needs to file and when. Filing a document for a project in our system is as easy as clicking one button.
Typically, filing a lien will prompt payment. If it doesn’t, Zlien Collections can take over to perform professional collections services on your debt, and if necessary, file a lawsuit to foreclose on the lien claim.
Zlien’s pricing is the most competitive in the industry, bar none. We have a sophisticated back-end system that ensures order accuracy, we file all across the country, and we are licensed, bonded and insured.
- Why Should I Use Zlien Instead Of Just Processing The Documents In-House?
Zlien is a good choice for your company because we can save you money, and because we can perform the work more accurately than your in-house operation.
Outsourcing your notice and lien work to Zlien can save your company money because it will eliminate the need to hire employees to perform the task, or will free up employees to work on things that make your company money. Preparing notices and liens is tedious work, and it is likely taking your staff a lot of time to properly prepare these documents. With Zlien, you only pay for what you need, and our prices are so reasonable that you can hardly do it for our price in-house.
Further, since we preparing notices and liens everyday, and we have nationwide resources at our disposal, we’re a lot less likely to make an error in the preparation of the documents than you in-house staff.
- How Can I Pay?
You can pay for Zlien’s services with any major credit card, with Paypal, with a bank transfer, or by sending us a check.
- How Do I Order?
- New Test
- About Mechanics Liens – Filing
- When Is Our Deadline To File A Lien?
The answer to this question depends upon where your project is located, and even on your particular role on the project. To help you understand which lien deadline may apply to your project, Zlien publishes online mechanic lien resources for every state, and has built a web-based application to calculate your lien deadlines.
To view free mechanic lien resources, forms and legal information about the mechanics lien laws in your state, you click click on the applicable state in the list of states to the right of these FAQs. Also, you can view a lot of this same information on MechanicLien.com, a lien information website we’ve designed and maintain.
To calculate your lien deadlines with our web application, simply input your basic project information into the LienPilot. Based on that information, the system will ask you to provide “trigger dates.” Provide the dates you know, and the system will calculate and display your mechanics lien deadlines. Use of this web application requires that you have an account. Free accounts are available, and you can sign up here.
If you don’t have an account, or don’t want an account, you can calculate your lien deadlines without an account using our Deadline Widget. Take a look at this video, which explains how to calculate mechanic lien and preliminary notice deadlines within the LienPilot.
- Does Punch List Work Extend The Lien Deadline?
Unfortunately, this is a very complex question. The answer depends on where you are working, the type of construction project, and more. However, to help you better understand when your lien deadlines start and end, we’ve written a few blog posts on the topic:
- Think you now The Last Date You Delivered Materials or Performed Services? Think Again.
- The Importance Of Knowing When Your Lien Period Begins
- With Lien Deadlines, The Devil Is In The Details
- What Type of Liens Are There, And What Types Do Zlien File?
The word “lien” or “mechanic lien” is used across the United States to describe a variety of lien instruments. In fact, in the United States alone, an ordinary construction lien is referred to with over 20 different names!
Zlien files liens against construction projects. We file against private (including commercial, industrial and residential), state and federal projects. When a project is a private project, the filing is usually commonly referred to as a mechanics lien. On a state project, the claim is made under a “little miller act,” and is commonly referred to as a bond claim or state lien. On a federal project, the claim is referred to as a Miller Act claim.
- How Do I Know If a Project Is Private, State or Federal?
Typically, if a construction project is on property owned by the state it will be a state project, if owned by the federal government a federal project, and if owned by private companies (including non-profit companies and private universities), it will be a private project. We wrote an article about this question: Is My Project Private, State, Federal or Something Different? We also published a Chart explaining the differences between these project types.
- What Is A Legal Property Description And Do I Need To Know This?
A legal property description describes the property in legal terms, referring to lots, subdivisions, plats, sections, and townships. This is in contrast to an ordinary municipal address. We’ve written an article about legal property descriptions that explains it in detail here: Identify Property in Mechanics Liens.
With few exceptions, a legal property description must be used when filing a mechanic’s lien. However, when using Zlien’s service, you do not need to know the legal property description (although, the more information, the better). Zlien has access to public records databases and other research tools, and part of the cost of our service includes researching the legal property description for the construction job site.
- Can I File A Lien If I Don’t Know The Property Owner’s Name or Address?
Part of Zlien’s flat fee includes researching or confirming the property owner’s name and address. So, yes, if you don’t know this information, Zlien can research this information and you can still file a mechanic’s lien.
- We’re Being Promised Payment…Should We Wait To File A Mechanic’s Lien?
Really, this is a business decision on your end. However, it’s important to remember that promises of payment do not suspend, interrupt or lengthen your mechanic lien deadlines. In face, we wrote a blog post about this called “Promises To Pay Mean Squat To Your Lien Deadlines.” You only have once chance to file a mechanics lien, and once that period expires, your lien rights are gone forever. Promises of payment will not extend your lien period. When unpaid on a construction project, you should file your mechanics lien.
- About Mechanics Liens – Post Filing
- I’m Being Threatened To Remove A Mechanic’s Lien – What Should I Do?
After you file a mechanic’s lien, parties who have interest in the project may ignore the claim, pay the claim, or challenge the claim. If someone challenges your lien and demands that you remove it voluntarily, you may need legal advice to analyze the demand and make a decision. However, we offer some information on our Construction Lien Blog that may help you understand the situation better: What To Do If Your Lien Is Challenged?
- We’ve Been Paid and Now Need To Release The Lien – How Do We Do This?
- About Notices
- What is the Difference Between a Preliminary Notice and a Notice of Intent to Lien?
Many people confuse “Notices of Intent” and “Preliminary Notices,” but they are entirely different document types. Generally speaking, a preliminary notice is typically provided before (or immediately after) you first perform work or provide materials to a project. A notice of intent, on the other hand, is sent only after work is completed and you are unpaid. We have a blog post on this topic, which addresses the differences between these two documents in more detail: All Notices Are Noit Created Equal: Prelim Notice v. Notice of Intent to Lien.
- Is Preliminary Notice Required In My State?
Each state is completely different as to whether notice is required, and the type of notice required. To determine if preliminary notice is required in your state, click on your state’s name to the right for the law summary. Generally speaking, preliminary notice of some sort is required in the following states:
- Is A Notice of Intent to Lien Required In My State?
Each state is completely different as to whether notice is required, and the type of notice required. To determine if a notice of intent to lien is required in your state, click on your state’s name to the right for the law summary. Generally speaking, notices of intent to lien of some sort is required in the following states:
Arkansas (10 days before filing lien)
Colorado (10 days before filing lien)
Connecticut (within 90 day lien period)
Louisiana (10 days before filing lien – material suppliers on residential projects)
Missouri (10 days before filing lien)
North Dakota (15 days before filing lien)
Pennsylvania (30 days before filing lien)
Wisconsin (30 days before filing lien)
Wyoming (10 days before filing lien)
- If A Notice of Intent To Lien Is Not Required, Can I Send One Anyway?
- Collections Services
- How Does Zlien’s Collections Services Work?
It’s quite simple. When logged into the LienPilot, you’ll see a new yellow button labeled “Send To Collections.” If you can’t get paid on a project, just click this button and professional collections services will immediately begin on your project. Take a look at a video we made explaining our new collections services here:
- How Much Will It Cost Me?
If nothing is collected, you won’t be charged a thing. The fee is completely contingent on you recovering the debt. If money is recovered, a commission will be charged, that varies from 20% – 40%, depending on the age of the account and the amount in dispute. Before you submit your matter to collections, the system will calculate the commission charged, or you can contact us and we’ll let you know.
- Who Performs the Collections Work?
Zlien Collections is offered in affiliation with Miller, Ross and Goldman, a highly respected nationwide commercial collections agency based in Austin, Texas. The company is a member of the American Collectors Association International, the International Association of Commercial Collectors, and a board member of the Texas Commercial Collection Agency Association. Through Miller, Ross & Goldman and its nationwide network of attorneys, the liens you file through Zlien can be foreclosed upon or enforced in any state across the country. No hourly attorney fees or legal headaches.
- Where Can I Find More FAQs?