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What is A Notice of Intent to Lien And Should I Send One?

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Matthew  Manco
Matthew Manco

In the construction industry it’s always a struggle to deal with customers who don’t pay on time (or at all). The most important part of getting paid in the construction industry is sending the right paperwork to protect your lien rights. Filing an Notice of Intent (aka NOI) is an incredibly effective tool for getting paid, and in some states, it is required to protect lien rights.

Register for this webinar to learn:

  • What is an NOI?
  • How NOIs work to get you paid
  • When and how to easily send NOIs on your overdue invoices

 

Speaker 1 (00:04):
Hello and welcome to today’s webinar. We’re excited to talk about NOIs and what they mean and what they can do to ensure that you get paid on every job. I’m guessing that you have joined this webinar today because you have, or are having a slow payment on one or more of your jobs. We are here to tell you, you are absolutely not alone, no matter the scale of your jobs or the size of your company. The one thing I can guarantee is that you’ll leave today’s session, knowing exactly how you can take steps to save your time on paperwork all while getting paid Before moving forward. I want to quickly say that we are recording this session and you’ll receive a link to the recording tomorrow. If you’d like to wash it or share it with your team. If you have any questions during the presentation, go ahead and enter them in the chat box. And we’ll get to those questions at the end. Right? Little bit about myself. My name is Matt and I’m the manager of the training and onboarding team here at level set. I work every day to help businesses like yours get paid fast and we about payment problems.

Speaker 1 (01:07):
Part of, I think maybe the greatest part of my job is working with folks from all over the country who are experiencing slow pay problem payments non-payments and taking steps through level sets to get paid. The best parts of this job are hearing back oftentimes really you really soon from our customers that, Hey, that job you helped me out on. They sent a check or I got a phone call from them right away. So really looking forward to showing you all, some more tools you can use today. So level set is here to help you get paid are lie, rights management software helps you track mechanically the notice deadlines, verified job site information, and basically just makes it easy to manage your lean rights paperwork. We’ll also provide access to construction attorneys and other legal services. Plus we have all kinds of resources on our website profiles outline and contractors payment histories to educational guides, And here on today’s agenda, what is an NOI? What is a notice of intent to lean? And am I required to send one? How will filing an NOI get me paid? And is there an easier way to send this paperwork?

Speaker 1 (02:28):
So a notice of intent is your secret weapon to get paid sometimes called a notice of intent or notice of nonpayment. It warns the property owner prime contractor, or any other party that a mechanics lie or bond claim will be filed in less payment of overdue amounts is made within a certain period of time. For example, 10 days, 15 days. Although you, although only legally required in a few, there are benefits of sending these notices for projects in any state, as they’re inexpensive and very effective at producing payment. The NOI provides a lot of leverage when you’re experiencing slower. Non-Payment Here is a list of the states where a notice of intent to lean or any sort of other verbiage for and NOI is required. So we see Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In those states, there are sort of further triggers where the NOI is required. And for example, in Colorado, it’s required certain number of days before you’re allowed to file the lie. But level set is here to help on those. We have state by state guides that can walk you through,

Speaker 1 (03:42):
Will filing a notice of intent, get me paid. Nobody wants to file a lie on a project, but we know that these notice of intents works because everyone wants to avoid a mechanics lie. If you’ve ever been in a situation where maybe as a homeowner, as a business owner, something shows up in your mailbox that says the word lean in it, it tends to get your attention tends to prompt a response. And so we know that, and we also know that so far in level set, 56% of our notices of intent are paid within 42 days, which is about 48 days faster than the industry standard and level set users with NOI policies. See 90% of their NOIs paid within 90 days. This is a document that will get a reaction. For example, the one I point to this was just a couple weeks ago, for me as a training and onboarding manager here, I worked with Dan up in Northeast property restoration there in upstate New York.

Speaker 1 (04:41):
We logged in about a, a after he signed up for level set. The first thing he did was sent an NOI on a problem customer. And I said, you know, I don’t know, I’m just kind of testing this out. I don’t know if it works. In fact, you know, the job I kind of came to you guys on, she paid me yesterday and I said, all right, well, let’s great. First of all, fantastic, you got paid. Let’s take a look and see what happened. Turned out that Dan went into his account, filled out the NOI included his customer’s email address on there that notice of intent got emailed to his customer at 3 45 on a Wednesday afternoon. She called him a little bit before five o’clock paid over the phone with a credit card within 90 minutes, right? This job that he had chased for three months got paid. So we know these things were, it’s a huge win getting paid the same day. You can’t beat it. All right. Is there an easier way to send this paperwork as someone who probably wears a lot of different hats saving time and making more efficient processes is a must. Some people spend too much time trying to get the details of each job, right? If at all, and it becomes a huge time, suck with level set. There’s an automatic process that saves you time and takes the responsibility off your plate.

Speaker 1 (05:55):
We also know as part of this process, that correct details are critical and rights. Your lean rights can be invalidated. If those are wrong, it takes a lot of time. And it’s a really confus, confusing process, but level set’s here to help with our scout research team that can ensure that your data is correct, that your property owner, your stakeholders are all notified properly. It’s a little bit more about, Hey there, Kevin, I see your question in the chat. Yes, you can utilize our services there in New Jersey And on a notice of intent, as far as whether it requires a permit. I can’t speak to that. I’m not a construction attorney and I don’t want to give any legal advice. You can certainly do a heck of a lot better than me for legal advice. But level set has a team of, or sorry, an education center where you can pose your question in your state and they can give you an answer on that A little bit more about our lean rights management suite here and how this will protect your deadlines. So we can send your notices and lean waivers in vault, protect receivables on every job, send demand letters using us standardized template and use level set pay. So when you do send that notice of intent, like my friend Dan there in New York, they had a link in that email to go ahead and run their credit card directly to Northeast property restoration.

Speaker 1 (07:22):
We wanna share a couple success stories here from our customers on Dane there, Minnesota, Jennifer. Absolutely. We can definitely send it. I’ve worked with customers in Minnesota who have sent NOIs and seen the same kind of success on this. No matter what state you live on as a homeowner, as a property owner, nobody likes the word lie. It’s a four letter word for a reason. So we’re sending those notices of intent. You will get a prompt response. I wanted to touch on that job research. I mentioned here a little while ago, we have an entire team of scout researchers here at level set,

Speaker 1 (08:03):
Who can they have access to the most comprehensive job data and construction. And we’ll confirm the details on your paperwork. You’ll get instant updates about who is on your job. And you’ll partner with an expert research team to verify property information within level set. These researchers can contact you directly to either get updates on information. If they find any discrepancies, they can alert you to that. And you’ll have direct communication with them. We see here on the left side of slide, mean a one item to review. You might have provided that you believe it’s a commercial job level set through their search of county records. We find that maybe it’s a state or county. You can open up that conversation or just accept our, our recommendations there. Mike, I see your question about what happens if you don’t respond to a notice of intent leave. Oftentimes, you know, since this is an escalation and a notice of intent tooling, you then in level set, go ahead and file that lean itself. And so if, if people don’t believe your threat, then you can follow through Little bit more information on, you know, how do we find the owner and owner designee general contractor, or a lender or a Sur it’s common be an in the dark about who these parties are, but here’s what we can do. You can do your own research on prop research and search the notice of commitment and are building permits, hire lever set to do your project research research for you, or send a formal request for preliminary notice information to your customer in GC.

Speaker 1 (09:43):
I know we covered a lot of ground there, but I’ll give some time in the chat. If there’s any questions specifically about this notice of intent to lean here to help. So Mike, if that’s gonna depend on the state that you’re in each state county might have different rules for sort of the escal beyond the filing of the lie certain states you take action to enforce that and it’ll court but typically work with an attorney beyond that. Oops. And I see Kevin that your hand is raised. What’s your question?

Speaker 2 (10:27):
Yeah. Hi my question is I had a couple of years, I painted a house for somebody and I was only paid about 20%. They started sending me checks and they stopped and shame on me, but I kind of just kinda let it slide. Is there a time limitation on when I can put in a notice to intent on a lie or is there something I could still do?

Speaker 1 (10:53):
So unfortunately, you know, that story is pretty common. You know, a lot of the folks that come in and work with level set are in a similar situation in those 38 states where the notice of intent is optional. You can go ahead in your level set account and send that notice of intent to leave. You know, it’s still gonna have the same effect of getting something in your customer’s mailbox and their inbox with your intentionally, whether you still have lie rights at being a couple years old that I can’t say again, not a construction attorney, not familiar with all the details, but you can still send that through level set. And like we said, prompt payment, or at least a response, you know, to bring your customer back to the table and start having a conversation about making you whole There. Shelly, I see the note about Tennessee and yes, I think we can have someone possibly reach out to you about attorney services there in Tennessee Tiffany, the note about, at what point do you send a notice of intent leave

Speaker 1 (12:08):
Your results may vary. I always, the, the customers that I work with, I tell them you all have the best sense of your business and the best sense of your customers. If you feel like this customer is getting ready to not pay, or is just kind of already pushed you to the back burner. That’s when we recommend sending an escalation document, like the notice of intent to lean in some industries that could be, Hey, I’ve got a 90 day lean deadline. So I send it around 70 days after non-payment, when I finish the work other customers, like we work with a lot of restoration pros who know, you know, we gotta stay on it really quick. They send an NOI at day 20, 25 30 when they haven’t been paid. So totally up to you.

Speaker 3 (12:48):
Yeah,

Speaker 1 (12:49):
Christina, I see there in California if you have not sent a preliminary notice is possible to send an NOI again, if it’s an optional document, you’re always gonna have the ability to send it whether or not sort of when you as get to the point of the lie, whether you’re fully protected, whether the job has been completed maintaining the lie rights, that’s gonna depend on the state. And if you sent it, we know in California that 20 day preliminary notice is pretty strict. But it doesn’t preclude you from sending a notice of intent on that job

Speaker 1 (13:27):
And Domer your question there in Florida, we need to send a notice to owner and notice to contractor before sending a lie. The notice to owner and notice to contractor takes a lot of different things into consideration the type of job it is, whether you were working on a commercial or residential property, whether you are a sub, a GC, a material supplier. So without knowing all those details, I can’t say, you know, for certain, whether it’s you know, what you might have been required to send, to maintain lie rights, but again, it doesn’t stop you from sending a note of, of intent. Like we see a lot of customers come in and have a lot of success with this as a document that prompts either payment or a phone call conversation from your customer, they’re really effective. You know, ideally you get in and all your preliminary notices have been filed on time. You’ve buttoned up, you’ve dotted every, I you’ve crossed every T so that when you get to that note of intent, you still have the lean in your back pocket. But we do have a lot of customers who, Hey, maybe you didn’t have a process in place when you started that job. You’re dealing with nonpayment and you send an NOI just to try to, you know, spark that conversation, spark that, that payment,

Speaker 1 (14:42):
Mike, I see your question about how long the lie will remain on the property. Again, I, I, I can’t speak to every state’s and counties guidelines, how long that’s there. But I would recommend going to level sets education center and laying out your scenario and saying, Hey, you know, I might be in Colorado or I’m in Illinois. And I’d like to go ahead and file this lie. How long will that stay? And a license construction attorney from that state will get you an answer in about 48 hours. I see your question about how much does it cost to put a lien on a property at levels that we have different options. You can go to the website right now, and there’s a, a set cost for filing a or, you know, to process your Leann there. There’s also a separate price for subscribers. So I would recommend taking a peek@levelset.com and starting that process. And Kevin, I made to put you on your spot, but I see the hand is up, but do you have a question?

Speaker 3 (15:52):
Okay.

Speaker 1 (15:56):
Thank you. These were all really good questions. The notice of intent is such a powerful tool in the level set, toolbox, and really in your toolbox as well. You can go to level set.com and send these out right now. We just know that they get a response. They, they break up the log jam of nonpayment and slow payment on so many jobs. It, it’s a fantastic option.

Speaker 1 (16:40):
That’s a great question. So a notice of intent who would you send it to the owner, the GC that’s gonna depend on the type of work you did. You can, some, you know, depend using our restoration contractors as an example. Again, we know it’s best to send kind of cast a wide net, cuz you might be dealing with it adjuster the property owner, or if you’re a sub on a very large project, you cast that wide net to get a lot of eyes on it. So we always recommend, Hey, send it to that GC that hired you, but also send it to the property owner cuz it can get their attention as well. And at that point in the payment chain, they will look at the GC and, and they might look at their books and say, Hey we, you, why aren’t you paying your subs? So, and that’s another situation where if you are a sub on a large project, you only know who hired you level second, find out who owns the property for you, then include them on any of these notices. It’s simply I’ll, I’ll admit this is personal preference, but when it comes to the, the notice of attend and any of our escalation documents, I prefer casting as wide net as possible, whatever it takes to get the payment that you earned to get the money you deserve, let’s go ahead and let them know.

Speaker 4 (18:06):
Matt. I have a quick question. I know we get this often from a lot of our different customers is, you know, why would we file an NOI versus just picking up the phone and giving them a call, shooting them an email? Like why an NOI over other alternatives?

Speaker 1 (18:23):
Sure. and so I will, I will say the first time I had any sort of real work done in my house, the a contractor had me sign a lean waiver that just said, you know, I’m, I’m agreeing that you will, that I will be leaned if I do not pay you. And my reaction when I saw lean that four letter word that I was signing, my name on was like object har. Not that I ever would’ve not paid him, but when you see the word lean on a property owner, it sends you straight to the you’re on high alert. And so a phone call from you all that says, Hey, we might pursue collections. We might do a, B or C. That’s one thing they can hang on the phone. When you get something in the mail that says, I am going to lean you. If you don’t pay me the UN the money you owe me, we know that the reaction is wildly different, right? We see people snap you attention on this. There really isn’t a better kind of Spark to payment. Like you, there’s fewer ways to have that kind of leverage in these conversations than introducing the notice of intent to leave.

Speaker 4 (19:29):
Thank you.

Speaker 1 (19:46):
I know there’s a lot of sort of state specific jobs, civic questions. We’ll definitely point you to the education center. Another great thing about level set is, you know, if you’re wondering if this is required of you, this is optional you who should be notified if you enter your job into level set and the stakeholders on that project and go to send out that notice of intent level set will automatically tell you who needs to receive that. We’ll show you the required recipro per state and county laws, and also recommend it. You know, so maybe that maybe your general contractor doesn’t need to be notified on that, but we recommend it. Maybe the insurance agent doesn’t need to be notified, but we can recommend, Hey, why don’t you throw their details in here as well. So more eyes are seen on this notice of intent to lean

Speaker 1 (20:50):
There, Kyrie. So Kyrie’s question is once the notice of intents in Colorado and then the lean itself have been filed, what are the next steps? I can’t speak specifically to Colorado, but typically that’s when you would end up in a sort of a enforcement of that lean and that would getting an attorney involved level set can help pair you with an attorney. We can help direct you towards vetted attorneys in your area. If you’re in a state that has our legal guard option, we can go ahead and match you with an attorney. But that would be when the escalation reaches the sort of beyond level set we have, we will prepare all those documents. We’ll have them there for you, therefore then your attorney who would take over the process from there. All right. Evelyn and sunrise, Florida. Yes. after that NTO, after the notice contract was preliminary notice is when you’re experiencing nonpayment, the NOI is a great option in Florida, whether it’s, you know, whether you’re the prime contractor, general contractor, a sub material, supplier NOI, we we have a ton of Florida customers, all of whom see a lot of success with this NOI.

Speaker 1 (22:42):
I see your question about fees associated. So potentially going through that, I can’t speak to, to anything beyond whether county filing fees are included. I don’t believe they would be there. But 3 49 for that lie, You believe that is the, the price of what we consider a retail account Friend. I see your question your Where a, sort of a bad faith lean has been filed on your home. That’s one where I would recommend going to our education center, letting us know what state you’re in and kind of your situation. And you can get from a licensed construction attorney in that state, some legal advice around sort of what your options are, good next steps and, and how to protect yourself against something like that. Thank you, Justin. Yeah, that, that link that Justin just dropped there, Happy that we are, we are here to help.

Speaker 3 (24:24):
So

Speaker 1 (24:30):
See some more folks kind of trickling in and trickling out if there are any other questions about this notice of intent really, because this is an escalation document, there are other options, you know, any slow pay experiences you currently have in customers who aren’t paying, feel free to drop those questions in the chat. We’re happy to help out here, Kim and Mary pat, it looks like we’re kind of asking the same question about sort of fees. We do have subscription services that we offer. We can go ahead and have a representative from our cus our company reach out to you all with more information there.

Speaker 1 (25:16):
Hi, doing, I see your question about retainage on commercial projects. They’re in Texas 45 days since the job was completed. Do I need to send an NOI in Texas? There are the monthly notice process. I’m sure you’re familiar with there on the 15th of every month when the retainage and I’m in you’ll forgive me not being a construction attorney. I know the law was just changed recently that that notice of unpaid retainage is gonna come after the job is completed. I don’t know if it’s at day 45 or day 75, whether it’s two to three months after, but the nice thing is if you include those dates that retainage, that still due level set will tell you exactly when that notice of unpaid retainage would be due. You’re also, you know, fully within your rights to send, or generally speaking within your rights to take a look at the NOI as an option in that case too, And levels I know has great resources around Texas, you know, Texas. We have a whole Texas monthly notice day here in the office. Every 15th or whichever day it falls on is a very busy day here at the office. But we, we have excellent resources on our website. We can look up changes to the Texas monthly notice law Texas retainage collections. And we can point you in that direction.

Speaker 1 (27:05):
I get for anyone, you know, I, if you have more questions, level sets, resources around both the notice of intent, your state specific rules, guidelines, they’re all there on our website. Definitely recommend taking a moment here to dive into those as resources, right? Take a look at what your options are and see how you can go ahead. You know, there’s free forms available on the website. If you wanna send these yourselves, we just wanna see you get paid, right. We are here to get the money that you deserve, the money that you earned, and however we can help you do that. We’re here to help. Yeah. Thank you so much. We’re, we’re happy to hear that. I hope it helps.

Speaker 1 (28:03):
Hi, Mary pat, I see your question about, can a contractor who was not licensed at the time file and notice of intent leave without knowing sort of specifics here. I don’t want to say definitively whether that’s an option, but I would recommend jumping into the education center. I and asking one of our payment experts there, the one of the licensed construction attorneys in your state whether that being licensed at the time or not would affect your ability to send a notice of attempt. So there’s, I know there’s a lot of qualifiers on that and I, I point you in that direction just cuz they can clear that up for you. All right. Excellent. Thank you.