Notice of Intent to Lien

Click on a state to view the Notice of Intent frequently asked questions.

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

NOI Forms

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What Is a Notice of Intent to Lien?

47%
More than 47% of NOIs are paid within 20 days of delivery.
90%
zlien users with NOI policies see 90% of NOIs paid within 90 days.

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 identified in the above map, and also 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’s platform makes delivering Notice of Intent to Lien documents easy. It routinely delivers 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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Should You Send A NOI?

First, are you required
to send the notice
of intent to lien?

First things first, you may not really have a choice. In some states, contractors and suppliers are required to deliver a notice of intent to lien before filing the mechanics lien statement.

In deciding whether to send a notice of intent to lien, you must determine if you’re in one of these states: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Second, do you have the
time to send a notice
of intent to lien?

Sending a notice of intent to lien takes time…and time is valuable when filing a mechanics lien claim. In fact, regardless of where you’re performing work, you only have a set amount of time to file your mechanics lien, and sending a notice of intent to lien will never extend your filing period.

So, if you’re going to send a notice of intent to lien, make sure you have the time to send it and still file your mechanics lien on time.

Third, will the notice
of intent to lien make
any difference?

Notices of Intent to Lien documents can be a fantastic idea because they may get the parties to issue you payment without you having to incur the expense and trouble of filing a mechanics lien. But, don’t send a notice of intent to lien if it’s going to be a waste of money.

If someone is in a full-fledged dispute with you on the construction project about your workmanship, or claims to have terminated you…just go with the mechanics lien. The notice of intent to lien, in this instance, is likely to just be spinning your wheels.

Why zlien's Notices of Intent?