Frequently Asked Questions

Preliminary Notices:

What is a preliminary notice?

A preliminary notice in required by law to secure your lien rights in many states. It is a notice that is sent out to all interested parties to inform them that you were on the job and what materials and or labor you supplied and have secured lien rights in case of nonpayment.

Who is required to send a preliminary notice?

Anyone who has supplied materials, labor, equipment and/or supplies for the improvement of a project.

How much time do I have to file a preliminary notice?

The state of Arizona allows you 20 calendar days from the 1st day that you supply materials and/ or labor to the jobsite to have your preliminary notice mailed but each state has their own requirements.

What if I forget to file a notice?

If you are still supplying to the job, you can still do a preliminary notice. But your notice will only be able to protect the labor and /or materials retroactively, 20 calendar days for the day the notice is mailed.

Example: If you started the job on the 1st but forget to file your notice until the 25th, that notice will cover the materials and/or labor from the 5th going forward. Each state statue is different, please contact A agent or your lawyer for more information.

Why is the jobsite address so important to have on my request?

The reason we ask that our client's be as specific as possible when entering the jobsite address is because your lien rights ALL stem from the jobsite address. It is the point from which all our research begins. The actual location is best to ensure that the information is accurate and therefore protects our client's rights to the best of our ability. We understand that there are times when and address is not necessary available, such as road work, but we do ask that our clients try to narrow it down as much as possible and give us as much information that you can.

Do I have to be licensed in order to secure my lien rights?

Yes, it is required that you are a licensed contractor.



What is a mechanics/ materialmens lien?

A mechanics/ materialmens lien is the next step after sending out a preliminary notice. It is a great tool use to collect your dept.

How do I know if I have lien rights?

Each state varies please contact File My agents or contact your lawyer for each specific statute.

For example, Arizona statute states: Except for a person performing actual labor for wages, every person who furnishes labor, professional services, materials, machinery, fixtures or tools for which a lien otherwise may be claimed under this article shall, as a necessary prerequisite to the validity of any claim of lien, serve the owner or reputed owner, the original contractor or reputed contractor, the construction lender, if any, or reputed construction lender, if any, and the person with whom the claimant has contracted for the purchase of those items with a written preliminary twenty day notice as prescribed by this section.

Do I have to be licensed in order to secure my lien rights?

Yes, it is required that you are a licensed contractor.

How much time do I have to file a lien on a project?

In the state of Arizona, you have 120 days from the last day you significantly supplied to the jobsite in which to file your mechanic's lien; or full completion of the work being done on the jobsite. Unless a notice of completion has been filed, in which it cuts your time frame to 60 days. Each state has their own time frames pertaining to mechanic's liens. Please feel free to contact us for other state time frames - (855)-558-0870 and our agents will be happy to help.

What is a Notice of Completion?

A notice of completion is a written notice which the owner/agent of owner records with the county recorders in which jobsite is located, at any time after the completion of construction for the purpose of shortening the lien time frame.

How long are liens effective?

In Arizona, once you have filed your mechanic's lien, it is considered valid for 6 months from the date on which the lien is recorded. This is the time frame for the next step, should it become necessary. We do not recommend to wait too long in order to give your attorney time to do their due diligence on the matter. If you wait out the 6 month, your time is up and you've effectively lost your rights.


What are my rights?

What are my rights when I'm working on an owner occupied structure?

The laws are very specific about lien rights when working on an owner occupied residence in Arizona. You MUST be contracted IN WRITING with the homeowner in order to have lien rights-no exceptions. An owner occupied residence qualifies as any residence in which the owner intends to reside for at least 30 days following the first year after completion of the work being done. Again, each state has their own statues contact agent or your lawyer.

When do I need to increase the dollar amount on my preliminary notice?

An Arizona 20-day preliminary notice will automatically cover 20% over the face value on a notice.

Example: you have a notice done in the amount of $1,000 but you have $500 worth of change orders on this job now. The existing preliminary notice will cover $1,200 but AZ law says you must do an addship now to cover the additional amount. You will need to request an addship in the amount of $500.

What is an addship?

And addship is a preliminary notice in which the dollar amount has increased, that is linked to the original notice and which shows the original amount, what is being added and the new total.


More Things to Think About:

I have recorded my lien but I am still not getting paid, now what?

The next step in this process would be to contact an attorney to perfect the lien by starting foreclosure proceedings.

We are happy to give you a referral to our great legal team we work with to help you through this process. Contact us at (855)-558-0870 and one of our agents will be happy to help.

What is the difference between a lien and a bond claim? How do I know which one I need to use?

When you are working on a commercial or residential projects, you have lien rights and can file a mechanic's lien. Public work projects cannot be liened as the property being improved is owned by the state, government or Indian land. When working on public work projects, the general contractor is typically required to obtain a payment & performance bond. The bond's purpose is to cover any unpaid labor or materials.

Does everyone have lien rights if they send out a preliminary notice?

It depends on each states lien laws, who you are on the project, and per the job itself. Please know we do not practice law and cannot give any kind of legal advice. You may want to contact an attorney for legal advice. We are happy to help you with finding an attorney if you would like. Contact us at (855)-558-0870 and one of our agents will be happy to help.


Public Work Jobs/ Federal Miller/ Little Miller:

What is a "Little Miller Notice"?

A little miller notice or letter is a public works job that is state owned.

What is a "Federal Miller Notice"?

A federal Miller notice or letter is a public works job that is Federal or government owned.

What is a bond claim?

Public works jobs cannot be lien so to protect subs and material suppliers you can file a bond claim. Which claims against the bond to pay outstanding monies owed.

What is the time frame to file a bond claim?

For Arizona it is 90 after the last day you significantly supplied labor and /or materials. This varies from state to state so contact your lawyer or to find out state regulations.

Is a preliminary notice required on a public works job?

A subcontractor or materials supplier not in direct contract with the owner must file a preliminary notice in the state of Arizona. However each state varies so please contact a lawyer or to get up to date information for other states.