sending a notice of intent to lien may be enough to get you paid

This article was originally published on August 23, 2012 and was updated on January 9, 2017.


The Notice of Intent To Lien is a beautiful document, and it may be just the right thing to get your company paid quickly, without the hassles and expense of filing a mechanics lien. While the notice may not be formally required (it usually isn’t), this blog post outlines several reasons why the Notice of Intent to Lien (NOI) may be your best collections option.

Benefits of Sending a Notice of Intent to Lien

Communication May Be Enough to Solve the Problem

Most payment delays and problems are caused simply by miscommunication. Especially on big projects with several tiers of hiring, parties at the top of the chain may not know of your involvement on a project. For example, if you were hired by a subcontractor to provide materials, it is very possible that the general contractor and property owner are unaware of your involvement and how much you are owed. By sending a Notice of Intent to Lien, you are alerting the parties funding a project that you worked on a project and are still waiting to get paid. Increasing transparency can be enough to smooth out cash flow and improve business relationships.

Even If You Don’t Have Lien Rights, This Notice May Get You Paid

There are a hundreds of reasons why you may not have the right to file a mechanics lien against a construction project. As way of example, you may have (i) supplied materials that were not incorporated into the project; (ii) failed to protect your lien rights by neglecting to send a required preliminary notice; or (iii) missed your lien filing deadline.

Whatever the reason, sending a Notice of Intent to Lien may be a great move for your company. Even if you don’t have lien rights, you can use the notice of intent as a bluff. The recipient likely wants to avoid a mechanics lien filing at all costs since liens are cumbersome and inconvenient, but they may not no that you don’t have lien rights. There is a lot of gray area in the mechanics lien world and it’s hard to say definitively whether you have rights or not because of the layers and layers of rules and exceptions. When you say you intend to file a lien, even if you don’t ultimately have the rights, it’s complicated and expensive to work out whether you do or don’t.

NOIs Are Inexpensive And Risk-Free

Sending a Notice of Intent to Lien is a lot less expensive than filing a mechanics lien. With zlien, for example, filing a mechanics lien will cost you $349. Sending aNotice of Intent to Lien will only cost you $49 per recipient (Send A Notice of Intent To Lien Now).

There are a lot of reasons for the price difference, such as:

  • Liens must be filed, Notices of Intent do not
  • Liens must be researched, Notices of Intent usually do not
  • Liens have filing fees, service fees, courier fees and the like, and Notices of Intent do not
In addition to the expense differences, there are risk differences as well. If you file a mechanics lien, it could potentially be challenged which could cost you a good deal in attorney fees and damages, especially if your lien is invalid or there is another problem with it. Notices of Intent to Lien do not expose you to this risk. The notice is just a mailed letter, not a document formally filed with the county recorder.

Convinced? Send A Notice of Intent To Lien Through zlien

Ready to get paid? zlien is the leader in sending Notices of Intent to Lien. The charge is only $49 per recipient, and we will prepare, research, and track your notice. While you could send the notice yourself using one of the free forms zlien makes available on its website, it’s worth outsourcing the process because it saves time and energy, and you know it’s done right. Furthermore, the receiving party will know you’re serious. It’s time for you to get smart about collecting money due to you – File A Notice of Intent to Lien Now.

Want to take it a step further? Speak to a zlien expert about implementing a notice policy to speed up your payments and make sure you get paid on every project. zlien allows you to send unlimited notices, so you can secure payment to every project. 

Get a Demo of zlien