Pre-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.
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.
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.
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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!
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
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.
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!