Speed Up Payments with a Notice of Intent

Letting your customers know that you haven't been paid with a Notice of Intent to Lien is usually enough to get the payment ball rolling.

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Waiting for Payment?

Unpaid on a job? Sending a Notice of Intent to Lien is an incredibly successful way to produce payment without filing a lien.

How It Works

A Notice of Intent lets your customer know you’re serious. No one wants a lien filed on their project, and this notice gives your customers a chance to resolve the dispute before a lien is filed.

Vjera Thompson

Accounting Manager | 9Wood

We wish we would have started sooner.

Should I Send a Notice of Intent to Lien?

Is Sending
It Required?

In some states, contractors and suppliers are required to deliver a notice of intent to lien before filing the mechanics lien statement: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Wyoming all require NOIs.

However, even when sending a notice of intent is not required, it can be incredibly effective at producing payment.

Do I
Have Time?

When required, notices of intent to lien should typically be sent 10 to 30 days before filing a lien. Note that sending a notice of intent does not delay or extend your mechanics lien deadline.

If you’re in a state that does not require that you send a NOI, make sure you understand when your mechanics lien deadline expires and that there’s enough time before the deadline to send the notice of intent.

Will It Make
a Difference?

Sending a notice of intent to lien is usually an effective way of get paid without incurring the expensive and trouble of filing a mechanics lien. Your customers will also appreciate having the option to resolve a dispute before a lien is filed.

If the notice of intent to lien does not work, the option to file a mechanics lien is still available.

What Is a Notice of Intent to Lien?

A notice of intent to lien (NOI) – sometimes called an intent notice or notice of non-payment – warns the property owner, prime contractor and/or other party that a mechanics lien or bond claim will be filed unless payment of overdue amounts is made within a certain period of time (i.e. 10 days). Although only legally required in a few states, there are benefits to sending these notices for projects in any state, as they are inexpensive and very effective at producing payment.

In some states and scenarios on private construction projects, notices of intent must be sent before a party is allowed to file a mechanics lien. There are no notice of intent requirements on state, federal, and other public works. The states requiring these notices are listed here:

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Although notices of intent to lien are formally required in only 9 states, there are proven benefits to sending these notices on other accounts with an unpaid balance. In many ways, a notice of intent to lien can be a replacement for a demand letter or dunning letter, except that NOIs have the extra benefit of being relevant to parties other than the debtor and carry more overall weight. This results in demanding more attention and producing more success.

According to zlien research, 47% of NOIs produce payment within just twenty days of delivery – all without any further collection efforts or legal action. Many zlien users have watched that success number increase to over 90% when examining a longer post-notice period, such as 90 days.

The notice of intent to lien tool is a perfect pressure release valve for the construction industry, which is notorious for payment abuses, delays, and working capital challenges. A recent survey by Construction Enquirer of more than 900 subcontracting firms found that more than half (50.4%) said they had to recently resort to legal action to get their bills paid. That’s an enormous statistic. And the success of notice of intent to lien claims appears to be a perfect anti-dote to the industry’s payment woes.

Additionally, notices of intent to lien delivers can salvage important business relationships that are at risk. It’s common that delayed payment or non-payment is related to a communication problem on the project, or something simple. A properly delivered notice of intent to lien document notifies key project stakeholders of a payment problem they may not otherwise know exists, and gives all parties an opportunity to resolve the problem before a more adversarial lien claim is filed.

zlien makes sending Notice of Intent to Lien documents easy. We routinely deliver thousands of NOIs on construction projects across the country. Further, zlien NOIs are engineered to succeed at producing payment and encouraging critical communication, which explains why users who implement and execute a NOI policy through zlien’s platform commonly see payment success on NOIs in a vast majority of deliveries.

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Why zlien's Notices of Intent?

Go Ahead & Ask. We Have Answers.

  • A Notice of Intent to Lien is a document sent to warn the recipient that there is a problem with a payment, and that a lien will be filed if the dispute is not resolved.
  • A Notice of Intent is typically sent after a preliminary notice and before a lien is filed. When required, the deadline to send a Notice of Intent is measured backwards from the lien filing date.
  • Sending Notice of Intent before filing a lien is required in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. When not required, sending this notice can be incredibly effective at getting the noticing party paid.
  • This notice informs the GC of your claim so they can attempt to resolve the dispute before a lien is filed. This is helpful for the GC if they don't know you haven't been paid, and to help them avoid lien filings on their job.
  • Sending Notice of Intent is an incredibly effective tool for getting paid. In some states, it is required to protect lien rights.
  • zlien data shows that more than 47% of NOIs are paid within 20 days of delivery. zlien users with NOI policies see 90% of NOIs paid within 90 days.

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    Expert Notice of Intent Resources

    Is Notice of Intent required in your state? The United States map below will give you an answer at a quick glance. Explore our notice resources more fully, which includes thousands of forms, charts, blog articles, and more, by clicking on the state your interested in learning more about below.


    • Notice of Intent to Lien required
    • Notice of Intent to Lien NOT required

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    Master Lien Rights & Get Paid Faster with zlien

    Track & Manage All Notices in One Place

    Quit chasing paperwork. zlien makes it easy for you to view and manage all of your notices in one place. Whether you're sending or receiving notices, organize them in one place to easily manage jobs, contacts, waivers, and deadlines.

    Keep Track of Everyone On Your Project

    Stay connected to other project participants so you know who you're working with. Promote visibility on the job to maintain a smooth payment process and positive business relationships.

    Never Miss a Deadline or Requirement

    zlien alerts you what documents are due adn when so you always know what comes next. Secure lien rights on every project so you can speed up payments and build stronger relationships with customers.

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    What Your Customers Say
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    Send Notices That Your
    Customer Will Love

    Stay connected to other project participants so you know who you're working with. Promote visibility on the job to maintain a smooth payment process and positive business relationships.

    85%
    of companies that receive preliminary notice say they're helpful or just part of everyday business.

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    Barry Dambrowski

    Credit Director | Emser Tile

    We've been using zlien for a few years and have nothing but good things to say. They do a great job of validating the project data.

    Sending a Noice Fast & Easy with zlien

    When we talk to companies that don’t send notices on all projects, it’s typically because they’re overwhelmed. They don’t have the time or resources to figure out what notice is required and when it’s due, and they definitely don’t have the bandwidth to send non-required notices.

    zlien eliminates these roadblocks. We make sure you know what’s due and when, and make it easy for you to send timely, legally compliant notices with just a few clicks. And since zlien empowers you to send unlimited notices, you can send them on all your projects in any state regardless of whether that notice is required to secure lien rights. Use zlien to speed up payments and protect against financial risk.

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