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Bellows is a full-service plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical company providing high-quality maintenance and installation for homes and businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. They’ve grown extremely fast because of their stellar reputation and their speediness in responding to customer calls. 

“We provide a high level of service to our customers. We’ve done the work on time, so we expect payment on time,” says Chelsea Schlunt, one of the company’s co-founders and owners. 

To help ensure timely payment, Chelsea sends a California preliminary notice to customers to show that they are serious about collecting payment and to protect their right to file a lien if payment isn’t received. 

“California has a strict timeline for processing lien rights paperwork. You can’t even file a lien if you haven’t issued a 20-day preliminary notice, which gives you the option to file a lien in the future,” explains Chelsea. 

Not only is the timeline for lien rights strict, but there is no room for error. 

“If you do something wrong when you process lien rights paperwork, it renders the whole document legally unenforceable. And that’s not a risk we can take,” Chelsea says.

To keep from making any mistakes and losing their lien rights, Chelsea and her branch managers use Levelset — a full lien rights management solution. Levelset eliminates the burden of staying on top of California lien laws. 

“We don’t have the legal prowess to know when laws are changing, but Levelset has people on staff who are constantly staying abreast of these laws and changes,” says Chelsea. 

“From a cost per hour perspective, it doesn’t make sense for our office personnel to figure out these laws and forms themselves. So Levelset does the heavy lifting for us, and ensures we have the right forms sent at the right time, to the right people.” 

Not only is the team at Bellows assured that they are using the correct notice documents, but with Levelset, they have deadline tracking on all jobs they’ve entered so they can see exactly when the 20-day deadline is approaching and are alerted when it’s time to send notices. 

Another benefit they gain from using Levelset is that they don’t have to do their own research to find accurate property information.  

“We always want to make sure we know who is the legal owner of the home. Levelset Scout looks at the county level and confirms who really owns the title on the home. That way, when a lien is filed, we’re not liening the wrong person, rendering the whole process useless,” says Chelsea. 

Levelset’s Scout Researcher helps Bellows with all their job research

Scout works by matching Bellows’ jobs against the most comprehensive series of construction project and property databases in the U.S. to fill in missing information or verify the project details they’ve provided. 

If needed, a team of in-house researchers at Levelset will also make calls or will get creative with searching through property records and web mapping platforms to track down hard-to-find information.

At the end of the day, Chelsea considers Levelset to be a valuable solution to payment problems.

“We have a good collection rate and we don’t have a lot of outstanding debt. But there’s always that customer who comes along every once in a while and doesn’t think the payment terms apply to them. Those one or two customers consume a lot of time and financial resources from a company,” says Chelsea. “We had enough of those incidents to say that we needed to do something different, and that something is Levelset.”

For those slow-payment incidents, Levelset is totally worth it. “Your return on investment is easily recaptured if Levelset helps you collect on just one job. It more than pays for the service cost for the entire year.”

Bellows isn’t the only contractor using Levelset to avoid payment problems and manage lien rights paperwork. Thousands of construction companies across the country depend on Levelset to keep cash flow steady and take the stress out of payment paperwork. Schedule a call with the Levelset team to learn more. 

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