A client recently contacted us with questions about Colorado’s Notice of Intent to Lien requirement, and specifically about the timing of sending this notice. After careful consideration of the question I realized that the Colorado Notice of Intent to Lien requirement is an easy one to meet, but that it requires a bit of advanced planning.
Colorado is in the minority of states that require a notice of intent to lien filing. On paper, the requirement itself is fairly straight-forward: A notice of intent to lien must be delivered 10 days prior to filing a mechanics lien. The statutory basis for this requirement specifically provides as follows in § 38-22-109(3):
In order to preserve any lien for work performed or laborers or materials furnished, there must be a notice of intent to file a lien statement served upon the owner or reputed owner of the property or the owner’s agent and the principal or prime contractor or his or her agent at least ten days before the time of filing the lien statement with the county clerk and recorder. Such notice of intent shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the last known address of such persons, and an affidavit of such service or mailing at least ten days before filing of the lien statement with the county clerk and recorder shall be filed for record with said statement and shall constitute proof of such service.
It’s important to remember, however, that sending your Colorado Notice of Intent to Lien document will not extend your mechanics lien deadline. The deadline to file a mechanics lien in Colorado is likely 4 months from last furnishing, but may be reduced to 2 months under some circumstances.
Accordingly, sending a Colorado Notice of Intent to Lien requires some planning.
No one wants to file a mechanics lien against a project. They would much rather get paid and not have to deal with a dispute or a broken relationship. When the need to file a mechanics lien arises, therefore, companies commonly give the indebted party a lot of chances to pay before pulling the trigger. While waiting until the last minute to file a lien is risky to begin with, doing so in the state of Colorado is more so.
Waiting until the last minute to file a Colorado mechanics lien is risky because filing in that state is a process. The first step of that process is sending a notice of intent to lien. Since sending this document is required some time before filing a lien, and sending it does not extend the lien deadline, it is imperative that you plan and give yourself time to get both documents out on time.