Clarifying Pre-Lien to Homeowners: Importance and How to Explain It Effectively

Customer reviews pre-lien notice document prior to restoration workPre-lien notices are an important tool restoration contractors can use to help protect their right to enter the liens process if they are struggling to get paid. However, homeowners often have a variety of misconceptions about the liens process that can affect how they respond to being given pre-lien notices. Here are some tips from the legal experts at One Claim Solution on how to best explain pre-lien to homeowners and avoid unnecessary conflict.

What is a Pre-Lien?

Pre-lien notices are documents given to property owners letting them know that the contractor has the right to put a lien on their property if the restoration contractor doesn’t receive payment for their work.

When to Give Pre-Lien Notice

One Claim Solution recommends that contractors give their customers a pre-lien notice at the beginning of every job. “A lot of times the contractor is not gonna know if they’re having difficulty getting payment within the time frame that’s required to send out the pre-lien notice,” Josh Ehmke, General Counselor at OCS, says. If a contractor fails to give pre-lien notice within the time frame, they forfeit their rights to the lien process. Giving pre-lien notice keeps your options open in case you do need to put a lien on your customer’s property later down the line. 

The time frame for how long you have to give pre-lien notice varies from state to state. For help understanding the laws surrounding liens in your state, reach out to the OCS legal experts.

How to Explain Pre-Lien to Customers

Despite how important giving pre-lien notice at the beginning of every job is, many contractors are hesitant to do so, fearing that their customers will see a pre-lien notice as a hostile attempt to take their property. Homeowners are protective of their property and can have a lot of misconceptions about the lien process. But that doesn’t mean it is better to avoid giving pre-lien notice and relinquish your rights to the liens process. Instead, we encourage you to evaluate and improve how you explain pre-lien to customers, helping them understand what it means and why you are giving them notice.

Here are some tips on how to best explain pre-lien to your customers:

Explain Pre-Lien Early On

Don’t procrastinate. “A very good way to make your customer very upset is not to tell them about the lien process on the front end,” Josh explains. “If you take that time on the front end to be crystal clear so there’s no surprises, the customer’s gonna be one of your biggest fans throughout the whole process and support you.” 

Be Transparent

When you are explaining the liens process to customers, earn your customer’s trust by being transparent and straightforward. Explain to them how the lien process works and why you are giving them a pre-lien notice. Assure them that you don’t intend to put a lien on their home unless you absolutely have to. Encourage them to reach out to you if they have any questions about payment or the liens process. 

Explain That Giving Pre-lien Notice Isn’t the Same as Putting a Lien on Their Home

Many property owners don’t understand the difference between getting pre-lien notice and getting their property foreclosed on. “It’s all about communication… and helping your customer understand what’s going on,” Josh says. When customers understand that receiving a notice doesn’t automatically mean their property is getting foreclosed on, they are less likely to view pre-lien as a threat.

For More Advice for Restoration Contractors

Navigating the restoration industry can be complicated. If you’re interested in learning more about dealing with legal matters, improving contractor-customer relationships, negotiating with insurance carriers, and more, subscribe to our monthly newsletter Claims Corner.


Connor Trahan

Account Executive

Hi there! I’m Connor, the Account Executive for One Claim. My goal is to guide our contractors through the sales process, ensuring you’re equipped with all the information you need to make your decision and hit the ground running once aboard. We view ourselves as an extension of your business and I strive to make the process an enlightening and consultative one.
My career has primarily been focused in software sales over a few different industries but the last few years were spent helping general contractors solve similar problems to what we’re doing here at OCS! Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, cooking and boating during the summer months.

Nicole Liesenfelt

Director, Human Resources

Hello! I’m Nicole, and I’m here to champion for our employees, recruit for new talent, and impact culture at One Claim Solution. I find satisfaction in supporting a memorable employee experience and bring innovation, problem solving, and strategic view to the process. Nothing is more important than our people, and a healthy culture is my top priority! I have had the pleasure of building my career in various sectors, specializing in small to medium size firms focused on high-growth. My experience is centered around driving and implementing change, leading high-performing teams, and driving process improvements. I am excited to make an impact at One Claim. Outside of work, my family and I enjoy getting outdoors as much as possible to explore beautiful Colorado!

Elizabeth McGlone

Demand Generation Manager

Great to meet you! I’m Elizabeth, and I’m the one behind all the emails and advertisements you’ve been seeing. As the Demand Generation Manager at One Claim Solution, my mission is to connect with contractors like you who need our services. I’m passionate about having an impact on others and I bring a wealth of experience in demand generation and marketing strategy to create moments of delight, curiosity, and education for you.

Prior to One Claim Solution, I had the privilege of building marketing departments from the ground up at companies in a variety of industries, including IT consulting, first protection, and healthcare. Personally, I love being outdoors, playing Dungeons and Dragons and board games, singing, and traveling.

Alisha Yartzoff

Director of Contractor Success

Welcome! I’m Alisha, and I’m here to champion your success as the Director of Contractor Success at One Claim. With a passion for helping contractors thrive, I bring a wealth of experience in onboarding, customer service, and account management to ensure your journey with us is nothing short of exceptional.

Prior to joining One Claim, I had the privilege of scaling SMB and Enterprise Customer Success teams at fast-growing SaaS startups. With over six years of experience at companies like Mavenlink, Teamwork, and ServiceTitan, I honed my expertise in building high-performing teams and fostering proactive, consultative relationships. This background has equipped me with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by businesses like yours, and I’m dedicated to helping you overcome them.

Eric Terry


Hi there, my name is Eric! I am the Chief Technology Officer here at OCS, spearheading our technical strategy. I have a background in computer science, graduating cum laude from BYU-Idaho with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Technology.

Before coming to One Claim, I served as the Director of Engineering at Slingshot Technology, Inc., a company later acquired by WorkWave in 2021. My professional journey has spanned both emerging startups and established corporations, with a steadfast focus on cultivating high-trust, low bureaucracy teams and innovating technology using agile methodologies.

In my free time, you can find me flying drones, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with my family.

Cam Smith


Hello, my name is Cam, I’m the COO of One Claim Solution! I come from a management consulting background (Bain & Company) and hold an MBA from the University of Michigan. I have worked at a wide variety of organizations, from Fortune 500 to small-cap, in an equally wide variety of industries. I have over 15 years of experience in operations and strategic growth, and I have spent much of my career focused on developing high-performing tech-enabled service organizations through early stage and high growth phases.

Outside of work, my wife Brittny and I have four kids, ages 13 to 6. As residents of Mesa, Arizona, we love to ski and explore the national parks of the southwest!

Dan Doud


Hello, my name is Dan, and I am the CEO of One Claim Solution. I am super excited by everything we are doing at OCS to be the market leading insurance billing specialist that advocates on behalf of our restoration contractors. 

My professional experiences are predominantly corporate in nature. My career started at General Electric in finance and accounting. Immediately prior to joining OCS, I spent time as an investor at Bondcliff Partners and management consultant with Bain & Company. I also hold an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and got my BS in finance and accounting from Northeastern University.

Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time with my wife, two young children, and our family dog, Whiskey. We live in Charleston, SC and take advantage of the beautiful weather by spending as much time as possible outside at the beach or adventuring around town

Josh Ehmke

Co-Founder and General Counsel

Hi, I’m Josh! In 2016, I co-founded One Claim Solution with my partner Jeremy Traasdahl, and I serve as General Counsel of One Claim Solution. Working in the restoration industry, Jeremy and I saw contractors struggling to get paid quickly and fairly and we knew there was a need for change. We founded One Claim Solution to be this change and it’s been my privilege to see our company grow and to advocate for our clients as general counsel.

Outside of my passion for helping the restoration industry, I enjoy spending time outdoors, fly-fishing, hunting, skiing, and coaching my kids’ baseball teams. I’ve been married to my amazing wife for 20 years and we have a beautiful family of 5 children.

Jeremy Traasdahl


Hey, I’m Jeremy! In 2016, I co-founded One Claim Solution with my partner Josh Ehmke. Working in the restoration industry, Josh and I saw contractors struggling to get paid quickly and fairly and we knew there was a need for change. We founded One Claim Solution to be this change and it’s been my privilege to lead our amazing team.

Prior to One Claim Solution, I started my career as an inside sales rep for Avnet, then moved to Pepsico as a district sales manager. Outside of work, I love spending time with my wife and four children, two boys and two girls!