Mechanics Lien in Colorado. Using the Notice of Intent to Lien Form
Filing a mechanic’s lien in Colorado is the last step in the non-payment process. Before that, most contractors realize a Notice of Intent to lien is a prerequisite. But not everyone realizes this form is not only a good idea, but mandatorily required by statute. So, when asked by your staff how to file a Colorado mechanics lien, make sure you mention this Notice. Let us take a look at this requirement.
In most states, subcontractors and suppliers serve their pre-lien notices near the beginning of the project. This is then followed by filing a Colorado lien after substantial completion. For general contractors, that pre-lien notice is usually waived and they simply launch into the mechanics lien after completion. In most states, there is an optional form called a Notice of Intent to Lien. It is like a warning shot fired before the recording of the Colorado mechanics lien itself. In most cases it gives the owner ten days to disperse payment or else the mechanics lien is recorded. But it is important to understand that in Colorado it is absolutely required to serve the Notice of Intent and if not, the mechanics lien itself is invalid.
The Notice of Intent a file a Colorado mechanic’s lien is required for all lien claimant’s in this state, including general contractors, design professionals, subs, and suppliers. Remember also that it is not just signed and verified, but is also notarized. Have someone in the office that has knowledge of the project sign (not necessarily someone in the field). If you are a general contractor, you serve certified the owner. If you are a sub or supplier, you serve certified the owner and the general. You can also serve by giving it to a process server for personal service but this is an overkill.
But what most people forget is that along with the Notice, you must also include in the same envelope a copy of your proposed mechanic’s lien which is called a “Colorado Statement of Lien”. This lets the other side know you are serious–as you have gone to the time and expense of the preparing the Colorado lien (Don’t record the lien yet, it is only a copy).
The owner then has ten days to comply. Remember, you must wait a full ten days before recording your mechanics lien in Colorado. You do not count the first day and then count 10 calendar days, unless the last day falls on a weekend or holiday, and then you give the owner until the next business day. If you jump the gun and serve the lien to early, it will be considered invalid. The idea is to give the owner enough time to settle up his or her account with you.
Note also that the ten days starts ticking on the date of mailing. The date of mailing is the date you placed the envelope and a post office box. Most people then fill out the Affidavit of Service on that same date.
Because the Notice of intent and the mechanic’s lien both have to be notarized, you can have the same notary fill it-out and hopefully save an additional fee. Keep the originals and send copies.
So there is more to how to file a Colorado mechanic’s lien than first meets the eye. If you have any questions, give us a call.