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Do I lose my lien rights if the NTO I sent certified gets lost in transit?

FloridaPreliminary Notice

Do I lose my lien rights if the NTO I sent certified gets lost in transit? Given that I have the correct owner address and the NTO was sent within the 45 days. As per USPS tracking, some of my NTOs have had the following status for the past 3 months: "OUT FOR DELIVERY" or "IN TRANSIT". Meaning, that these NTOs have gotten lost in transit. In instances, I have attempted to serve the NTO again, but many times they get lost as well --I made sure I used the correct mailing address (gotten from NOC, or building permit, or as last resort, for property appraiser). Another status is "Delivery Attempt". A notice was left to for the recipient to reeschedule the redelivery because he/she was not available at the time of delivery. However, it's been a month and the recipient has not done anything to reeschedule the delivery. Please advise.

2 replies

May 15, 2020
First of all, your experience confirms my advice to clients to NEVER USE CERTIFIED MAIL as the only delivery method. People ignore certified mail all the time. It's shortsighted, but many people assume certified mail means bad news, so they don't pick it up. Instead, send your NTOs by Fedex or UPS with tracking so you have proof of delivery. Very rarely do I have a problem with Fedex or UPS (except you cannot Fedex to a P.O. box). However, the good news for you is that, so long as you sent the NTO to the address for the owner listed in the notice of commencement, the notice is "effective on the date of mailing", even if it is returned undelivered or is not delivered. See 713.18(3)(a), Fla. Stat. Make sure you retain your certified mail receipt showing the date you mailed it. You will need that as proof that you mailed the NTO within the 45 day period for notice.
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May 15, 2020
Thank you so very much for your time and advise.
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