What can we do if we did not file a preliminary notice? Can we still file a lien? We have filed an Intent notice

7 months ago

We did not file the preliminary notice as the GM on a residential home- the main supplier did. The homeowner refuses to pay the final payment on the GC fee. We did file an intent to lien but have we lost our right to collect because of the Preliminary notice?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset
439 reviews

Contractors who hire or will hire one or more subcontractor or supplier on the job must send a Notice of Lien Rights in order to preserve their right to file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien in Wisconsin. Generally, that notice is actually included in the contract – and if it’s not a part of the contract, it must generally be prepared separately and served to the owner within 10 days of first furnishing labor or materials. Unfortunately, later sending a Notice of Intent to Lien will not make up for a failure to send preliminary notice.

Of course, keep in mind that there are always options for recovering payment outside of the mechanics lien process. Levelset discusses some of those options here: Can’t File a Lien? Here Are Some Other Options For Recovery.

As mentioned in that article, even if mechanics lien rights might not be on the table, pursuing legal claims, such as a breach of contract claim, may be an effective option for recovering payment. And, sending a document like a demand letter might be helpful in pushing for payment before legal claims become necessary. In any event – before pursuing legal claims, it’d be wise – and likely even necessary – to consult a local Wisconsin construction attorney. They’ll be able to review your circumstances and project documentation then advise on how best to move forward.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
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