We have about $90,000 out in receivables, but mostly from residential service work. How do I initiate a lien on this?
Oct 3, 2018
I'm sorry to hear you've been going unpaid. However, it's good that you're taking steps toward securing payment before the job is complete. First, in Colorado, no preliminary notice is required. A Notice to Owner may be sent at any time throughout the life of the project though, and by doing so, the party who sent the Notice to Owner can force the owner to withhold payments from the contractor to ensure payment of the notifying party. Anyway - while no preliminary notice is required, Colorado does require that a claimant send a Notice of Intent to Lien prior to filing a mechanics lien. A Notice of Intent to Lien is often seen as the first step to filing a Colorado mechanics lien. This Notice of Intent must also include a copy of the Statement of Lien that will be filed on the property, and it must be sent at least 10 days prior to filing a lien. Note, though, that this is merely a deadline - the Notice of Intent to Lien may be sent earlier than 10 days prior to filing a lien, and there's actually a lot of benefit to sending it sooner than later. Specifically, by sending a Notice of Intent to Lien, a claimant can let the owner (and contractor) know that the claimant means business and is unafraid to file a lien claim, should it become necessary. But, at the same time, threatening a lien claim and waiting to file a lien only if it's necessary can help keep a job on-track and keep relationships intact. When a lien is filed, both relationships and the project can be put in jeopardy. Of course, if a Notice of Intent to Lien doesn't do the trick, a lien filing may be necessary. In Colorado, the general deadline to file a lien claim is 4 months from the claimant's last furnishing. However, this deadline may be shortened. For one, if you are a laborer and don't provide any materials whatsoever to the project, the lien deadline is 2 months from the completion of the project. Finally, if the project is a 1 or 2 family home and the property is sold to a third party (before a lien is filed), the timeframe to file a lien is shortened to 2 months from last furnishing labor or materials. The following articles may also provide some helpful information: How Long Do I Have To File A Mechanics Lien in Colorado? 4 Months or 2 Months?; What Is a Colorado Notice of Intent to Lien?; and How to File a CO Mechanics Lien.