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Recording a MT Construction Lien in Yellowstone County

Recently a commercial roofing contractor asked our TRADITION LIEN SERVICE division to record a MONTANA Release of Construction Lien. A MONTANA Construction lien was recorded earlier this year on an existing piece of commercial property in Billings, MT within Yellowstone County. According to Wikipedia, Billings is the largest city in Montana, and has seen phenomenal growth due to the shale and oil discoveries and development nearby.

You cannot use a electronic recording service to record a lien with the Yellowstone County Clerk & Recorder. Recording must be done in person, by mail or by overnight delivery.

Fees to record a construction lien are as follows: $5.00 first page, $5.00 each additional page of 8-1/2″ x 11″ or 8-1/2″ x 14″ paper. There is no charge for file stamped copies. Make checks payable to CLERK & RECORDER and they will accept out-of-state business checks.

Actual recording is within one (1) business day. You can view indexing information on their website. The entire notice will appear five (5) business days after being recorded.

Your original document after it is recorded will be mailed back 5 (five) after it is recorded.

Recording a GA Claim of Lien in DeKalb County

Recently a Atlanta, GA based subcontractor asked our TRADITION LIEN SERVICE division to record a GEORGIA Claim of Lien for an existing home in Clarkston, GA within DeKalb County. According to Wikipedia, Clarkston is recognized for its racial diversity, as the local high school had students from more than 50 countries.

Fees to record are as follows the county are as follows: $5.00 first page, $2.00 each additional page of 8-1/2″ x 11″ or 8-1/2″ x 14″ paper. There is no charge for file stamped copies. Make checks payable to CLERK OF SUPERIOR COURT and they will accept out-of-state business checks.

Actual recording is within one (1) business day. You can view indexing information on their website. The entire notice will appear five (5) business days after recordation.

Your original document after it is recorded will be mailed back 1-2 weeks after it is recorded.

PreLien2Lien Online now available at www.PL2LOnline.com

TRADITION SOFTWARE, INC., a California based corporation located in Roseville, CA, announces that PreLien2Lien is now available online as a web based lien management solution (www.PL2LOnline.com) for customers.

For almost twenty (20) years, PreLien2Lien has been a leading PC based software solution for U.S. contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and companies providing services for state-by-state construction lien management. Now customers can enter construction project information online and print a variety of notices – 1st Notices, Warnings, Waivers, Bond and Lien Claims, Stop Notices and Releases from any computer, smart phone or tablet using a simple login and password combination.


With the new online version strictly being marketed initially to current PreLien2Lien customers who have Annual Subscriptions up for renewal in January 2016, companies in California, Texas and Washington have already signed up to use the new product. As users at those companies go to print a notice, they will see a state specific menu like the one for the state of Washington below.


Annual Subscription pricing for current customers will be $200 per year for the One State unlimited version and $100 for the Lite ten (10) project version. New customers can save $50 off the PC based version of PreLien2Lien, paying $299 for the first year. Lite customers can save $20, paying $129 for PreLien2LienOnline compared to $149 for the PC based version. Additional pricing options are available for customers who license the Regional and USA editions of PreLien2Lien.

There will be a free data upload of current PC, Terminal Server, Citrix or Server based PreLien2Lien data within one business day. As with all our Annual Subscriptions, free user training and technical support is available by phone at our toll free number (800) 886-8770 Monday – Friday, 8AM – 4PM PST.

Craig Altman, Founder and President of TRADITION SOFTWARE and Miriam Liskin, Software Development Manager, are the co-designers for PreLien2LienOnline (www.PL2LOnline.com).

Recording a CA Mechanics Lien in El Dorado County

Recently a Sacramento based windows business asked our TRADITION LIEN SERVICE division to record a CALIFORNIA Mechanics Lien for a new custom home built in El Dorado Hills within El Dorado County. According to Wikipedia, El Dorado Hills is recognized nationally for its high median household income, ranking 77th in CNN Money Magazine’s best places to live in 2007, with the median household income for 2007 over $115,000.

Fees to record are as follows. $18.00 first page, $3.00 each additional page of 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper. $3.00 additional per page of 8-1/2″ x 14″ paper. Thus your typical lien should be $21 to record.

The actual time if mailed for recording is the same day received. It is 1-2 weeks after recordation to view indexing information on their website. The original document will be mailed back 2-3 weeks after recordation. A conforming copy of the original document can be sent the next business day after recordation. There is no extra fee if you include an additional copy of the notice and an additional self addressed stamped envelope. Indicate that you are requesting a conforming copy.

Recorded liens can not be viewed on their website.

As always, questions prior to recording a lien should be made by phone with the El Dorado County Recorder-Clerk’s Office. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8AM – 4PM PST. Phone number to call is (530) 621-5490. The office is located off of U.S. Highway 50 and the Forni Road exit in Placerville, CA.

Customer Spotlight: TESCO CONTROLS

TESCO CONTROLS, INC., Sacramento, CA is a full service system integrator and original equipment manufacturer specializing in the water / wastewater, traffic and electrical utility industries.

TESCO CONTROLS has been a TRADITION SOFTWARE PreLien2Lien-USA customer since 2006 to print lien notices and waivers in multiple states including CALIFORNIA. Their credit department had been using a competitive software solution before making the switch to PreLien2Lien.

Twice a week I like to go on a 4-mile run after work. I saw on multiple occasions a TESCO CONTROLS’ systems box alongside the sidewalk.

This photo was taken on Westbrook Boulevard in the Westpark area of west Roseville alongside LENNAR CORPORATION’s Carrington At Westpark new home community.

Recording a NY Notice Under Mechanic’s Lien Law For Account Of Private Improvement in Westchester County

A disaster services company contacted our TRADITION LIEN SERVICE division in early June to record a lien against a Owner whose residence in Westchester County, New York had suffered from severe sewage damage in the basement of their home.

Unlike nearby Nassua County, which makes recording a lien almost impossible for the average person, the Westchester County Clerk’s office recorded and returned a lien sent by mail from our headquarters in California in one week. Recording a lien in Westchester County must include the street address of the property, Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN), Section, Lot and Block numbers. Unlike most lien recordings, there is not a legal description provided, nor available, for property in Westchester County.

When recording a NEW YORK Notice Under Mechanic’s Lien Law For Account Of Private Improvement, you not only record the lien, but you also record with a copy of the lien a Affidavit Of Service By Certified Mail. This affects the fees you pay to record a lien. Cost for Westchester County for the lien itself $15, regardless of the number of pages. In addition, you must include an Affidavit fee of $5, thus making the cost to record $20 total. The office does accept out of state business checks.

You can include at no charge a conformed copy with a self addressed stamped envelope, but the Clerk’s office returned original copy of the lien, the Affidavit and the conformed copy by mail the same day it was received and recorded.

Recording a CA Mechanics Lien in San Francisco County

San Francisco is both the City and County government authority for CALIFORNIA Mechanics Liens to be recorded with. Carmen Chu is the Assessor/Recorder.

Recently our TRADITION LIEN SERVICE division recorded liens against a coffee house project and a residential window replacement. Recording a lien in San Francisco must include the street address of the property, Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN), Lot and Block numbers. Unlike most lien recordings, there is not a legal description provided, nor available, for property in San Francisco.

Fees to record are $15.00 first page, $3.00 each additional page of 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper, $3.00 additional per page of 8-1/2″ x 14″ paper. If you want the county to send your recorded notice to the Owner, cost is $6.00 for 1st address for notice to be sent to debtors, $2.00 for additional Debtors (optional service). Husband and wife count as one debtor.

A conforming copy of the original document can be sent after recordation. There is a $1.00 fee per copy if you include additional copies of the notice and additional Self Addressed Stamped Envelope. Indicate that you are requesting a conforming copy.

The turn around time for actual recording is four (4) weeks. You can view Information on their website one (1) week after recordation.

New USPS certified mail changes

Effective May 31, 2015 the U.S. Postal Service increased the price of Certified Return Receipt (CRR) mail, also known as the green card return receipt, to $6.74 from the previous $6.49. To save $1.40, you can use the Electronic Return Receipt (ERR), which now cost $5.34 total per mail piece.

The format of the Return Green Card (PS Form 3811) and Certified Mail Receipt (PS Form 3800) also changed.

TRADITION SOFTWARE has been in contact with the Postal Service business office in Memphis, TN regarding the continued use of our CRR and ERR pre-printed TRADITION Forms, our self-mailer certified mail forms developed with the U.S. Postal Service in 2010. As of today, the Postal Service is trying to determine what to do with vendors and business partners like ourselves who have stock on hand for certified mail solutions.


According to BLOOMBERG, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. On April 1st of this year, TRADITION SOFTWARE, INC. celebrated a critical business milestone with its 10th year anniversary.

Eric T. Wagner of FORBES MAGAZINE wrote in 2013 five (5) reasons that businesses fail. Here are my thoughts as to why TRADITION SOFTWARE and its great team of employees bucked the trend and succeeded for ten (10) years.

Reason #1: Not really in touch with customers through deep dialogue.

Within the first thirty (30) days of purchasing SIERRA PHOENIX, I traveled to Phoenix, AZ (no joke) to meet with customers. Subsequent customer trips occured in the Midwest, Texas, Florida, and much of both Southern and Northern California. I heard loud and clear the previous owner provided poor technical support, a buggy software product, and notices that rarely were legal. With the help of several current and past employees, huge strides were taken at a great expense to greatly improve all three of these areas.

Reason #2: No real differentiation in the market (read: lack of unique value propositions)

PreLien2Lien’s main competitor is Lien Writer, formerly of PASE SOFTWARE and now owned by GOLDENOMEGA.NET. Since Lien Writer and PreLien2Lien were part of the same company in late 90’s, their GUI (Graphical User Interface) looked remarkably similar. Miriam Liskin, Software Development Manager and I went about clearing a lot of clutter off the main data entry screen. We made the print menu state specific by document titles. We religiously made sure technical support at our 800 number was available first thing at 8AM PST when we opened, and was available until 4PM. I personally re-wrote sixteen hundred (1600) legal notices in the software. And we licensed German software technology that made it easy for notice customization. Finally, we decided the total cost of ownership for PreLien2Lien should be at least 50 percent less than our competitors.

Reason #3: Failure to communicate value propositions in clear, concise and compelling fashion.

The first day TRADITION SOFTWARE, INC., a California S-corporation was open for business was April 1, 2005 (no joke again). I wanted our verbal communication, website messages, and marketing collateral to communicate three (3) things:

1) PreLien2Lien is easy to use.
2) PreLien2Lien is legally compiant.
3) PreLien2Lien is reliable, with overall uptime across all customers at 99.99%.

Since we continue to acquire new customers nationally while keeping each year an overwhelming majority of our customers, we feel we have succeeded with our unique value propositions.

Reason #4: Leadership breakdown at the top (yes — founder dysfunction).

TRADITION SOFTWARE has been led by myself since our inception. The technical backbone of the company is headed up by a nine (9) year employee, Miriam Liskin. Together we have made several good hires. We priced our products and services correctly from the start, with only one (1) price increase in 10 years. The company has never been taken to court, never bounced a paycheck and navigated through both the difficult housing downturn in 2007 and my personal divorce in 2013.

Reason #5: Inability to nail a profitable business model with proven revenue streams.

Within two months of purchasing PreLien2Lien, we added a time-bomb lease feature to the software, requring an Annual Subscription to be current. This represents 60% of the company’s annual revenue, with new software sales representing 20% of the of the company revenue. In 2009, our TRADITION LIEN SERVICE division was started. Five years later three hundred and thirty (330) companies are under contract. This represents the remaining 20% of the revenue.

Along the way, not every decision has been perfect or easy. TRADITIONINK.COM was launched in 2005 as a national ink and toner online retailer division. Consolidation in buying behavior with behemoths like AMAZON.COM have severely impacted that business unit. Marketing initiative with trade show participation at NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association), World Of Concrete and CFMA (Construction Financial Management Association) and youth sports sponsorships produced poor marketing returns. And the software world is moving towards “Software as a Service” (SaaS). I shudder to think what my day will be like when a website for PreLien2Lien goes down on a business day.

As we go forward, our commitment to improving our easy to use software solution that is legally compliant and reliable will continue. As Andy Dufresne says in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION “….hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” That quote, along with one I gave to my Batavia High School (Batavia, IL) 1982 graduating class as Farewell Address Speaker on June 3, 1982 “… “then give to the world the best that you have, and the best will come back to you” sums up my focus going forward. Hope, and giving my best will enable TRADITION SOFTWARE as a market leader to keep helping its highly valued customers with products, services and solutions for construction lien management.

Recording a ND Construction Lien in Dunn County

TRADITION SOFTWARE’s TRADITION LIEN SERVICE division recently went through a very difficult lien recording on commercial property in rural Dunn County, NORTH DAKOTA. According to Wikipedia, Dunn County had only 3,536 residents in 2010.

A dispute between the General Contractor and Subcontractor filtered down to a Sub-Sub, who was not being paid its final invoice for grading and paving work done.

The customer service by phone with Lisa A. Guenther, Clerk of the Court/Recorder was outstanding. At the current time Dunn County is not accepting electronic recordings for liens. For rural property, you are not going to have a “123 Main Street, Anywhere, ND” address, or sometimes even an APN that can be used for the legal description. For this lien, Peggy Hendricks, Deputy Recorder helped me come up with the legal description at deadline.

Dunn County is located in the western part of the state. Federal Express could not do next day delivery to the Dunn County Courthouse even if you paid for it.

Recorded liens must include the Subdivision, Lot and Block numbers. Fees are $10.00 first page, $3.00 each additional page of 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper. Out of state business checks are accepted.

Actual recording is same day received. Dunn County does have a large top blank margin requirement – 3 1/2 x 4 at the top. They also require one inch margins on the left and right sides along with the bottom. And as we discovered, they want at least 10 point Arial type font. TRADITION LIEN SERVICE typically uses 10 point Arial Narrow, so we resubmitted the lien a 2nd time with the larger Arial font. For the original document to be mailed back, request it in writing with self-addressed stamped envelope.