One of the biggest mistakes made is to delay serving a Pre-Lien Notice or Filing a Lien because of the Debtor’s repeated promise to pay. When you initiate the Lien Filing Process, you immediately gain leverage over the Debtor and increase the probability of being paid. So why wait? These days, it has become the practice, as opposed to the exception for contractors to routinely serve/file Lien Documents on all Projects so as to protect their unpaid invoice. Learn How to File a Mechanics Lien.
Almost as bad as waiting to initiate the Lien Filing Process, is using free “fill-in-the-blank” Lien Forms obtained from the internet. There is a reason why these forms are free and relying upon them could harm your Claim. First, free forms do not come with instructions which specifically show you how to prepare, file, and serve the Lien Document. Without proper instructions, you run the risk of making a mistake. Remember, the Lien Laws are strictly enforced by the courts and even a simple mistake could invalidate your Lien. Second, free forms are typically not state specific and do not contain all of the necessary statutory language needed to perfect your Lien Claim. Third, fill-in-the-blank forms are unprofessional and give the impression that you do not take your unpaid Claim seriously.
Most contractors mistakenly believe that the mere act of serving a simple Pre-Lien Notice or filing a “fill-in-the-blank” Lien Affidavit will be enough to get them paid. While it’s true that timely serving a Pre-Lien Notice that contains all of the proper statutory language and timely filing a correctly prepared Lien Affidavit will secure your Lien rights, it is only half of the “Lien Filing Process.” The other half of the Process has to do with: (1) what you say; (2) how you say it; and (3) the overall appearance of your Lien Documents. It is this “other half” of the Process that usually gets you paid. If you are merely serving free “Lien Forms” or relying on an “On-line Lien Filing Service,” then you are not taking full advantage of the Lien Filing Process and are not doing all that you can do to get paid. Every Document contained in The Lien Professor’s Lien Kits incorporates and takes advantage of the entire Lien Filing Process.
On-line Lien Filing Companies use fill-in-the-blank forms and simply perform the mere act of either serving/filing the Lien Documents. They do not take advantage of the entire “Lien Filing Process” as described above and their documents look unprofessional. Moreover, on-line lien filing companies are typically not staffed by lawyers, so why would you trust them to prepare your legal documents? When it comes to preparing, serving, and filing Lien Documents, there are really only two choices that you should consider: (1) you can retain a Construction Lawyer to do it for you; or (2) you can do it on your own with proper instructions and artfully drafted “Lien Documents” (as opposed to “fill-in-the-blanks lien forms”). We make doing either of these options easy!
You should begin the Lien Process the moment you enter into an agreement to provide labor, materials, or services to a Project. One of the most common mistakes made is to assume that you will be paid for your work. The better approach is to assume that you will not be paid and to make it a practice in your business to timely serve all Pre-Lien Notices and file your Liens well before your deadlines. Remember, a Pre-Lien Notice does not need to be a threatening demand for payment, but instead can be drafted in a manner that advises the Property Owner and the General Contractor that the Notice is simply being sent to comply with the mandatory Texas Lien Statutes. All of The Lien Professor’s Lien Kits contain two versions of the Pre-Lien Notice: one specifically drafted in a non-confrontational tone and the other as a strong Payment Demand Letter.