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Recording a CA Mechanics Lien in Kern County

A solar energy asked our TRADITION LIEN SERVICE division to record a CALIFORNIA Mechanics Lien on a residence in California City, CA within Kern County. The county is the is the southern end of the Central Valley, and the county’s economy is heavily linked to agriculture and to petroleum extraction according to Wikipedia.

Fees to record are as follows the county are as follows: 23.00 first page (already includes Real Estate Fraud Fee), $3.00 each additional page of 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper. Make checks payable to KERN COUNTY RECORDER and they will accept out-of-state business checks. One important note for recording is that Kern County Assessor-Recorder’s Office does not do Conformed copies.

Actual recording is very slow if done by mail, ranging from 2-3 weeks. Another long delay occurs after recording, as the original that was recorded was not returned for until four (4) weeks by USPS First Class mail after it is recorded.

Beware of poor search capabilities on LiensNC.com

NORTH CAROLINA law mandated that construction projects beginning on or after April 1, 2013 requires appointment of a lien agent. Contractors and subcontractors can then give notice they are working on the project.liensnc

Recently our TRADITION LIEN SERVICE division was asked by a national lighting supplier to record a NORTH CAROLINA Notice to Lien Agent for a new Charlotte, NC shopping center. To do this, you must register and logon at Recently TRADITION LIEN SERVICE was asked by a national lighting supplier to record a NORTH CAROLINA Notice to Lien Agent for a new Charlotte, NC shopping center. To do this, you must register and logon at www.LiensNC.com.

First, the address when typed into the “Search” option produced 26,972 results.liensncsearchaddress

OK, let’s try to get a little closer to the desired correct results by typing in the Property Owner, ASHTON PROPERTIES into the “Advanced Search”. This time there were 5,619 results. liensncsearchowner

Now it is time to contact the General Contractor on behalf of my customer to ask for the Entry Number. They told me is was 4301148. Upon entering 430148 I now got 2 results, with one of them being the correct result. The other result coincidentally was for the number matching someone else’s phone number.liensncsearchentry

Bottom line is that after three (3) plus years the State of NORTH CAROLINA has created a website that lacks basic critical search capabilities.

Who Is a PreLien2Lien Customer?

Loyal, left competitive software solutions, using in multiple states, adopting online software.

Two hundred and thirty-four companies have been customers for eleven consecutive years.

During my two year tenure as a Vice President at PreLien2Lien’s main competitor, LienWriter, owned by GOLDENOMEGA.NET, my daily frustration was that there needed to be a better lien software solution. In March 2005 I completed the purchase of LienWriter’s direct competitor, SIERRA PHOENIX. Since then, in addition new customers being added each year, two hundred and thirty-four (234) companies across the U.S. have remained loyal annual subscribers. Our success comes from long time customers like BLAZONA CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION (West Sacramento, CA), CITY LIGHTING PRODUCTS (St. Louis, MO) and METAL SALES MANUFACTURING (Louisville, KY).

Thirty-five current customers were previous LienWriter customers.
History shows that LOTUS had a spreadsheet called 1-2-3 before MICROSOFT Excel. YAHOO was the leading internet search engine before GOOGLE. While LienWriter was the first lien software solution to market in 1996, thirty-five (35) current customers have switched from using LienWriter to PreLien2Lien. Companies such as BRISTOLITE DAYLIGHTING SYSTEMS (Santa Ana, CA), MEAD CLARK LUMBER (Santa Rosa, CA) and TNT EQUIPMENT (Columbus, OH, Dallas, TX) have all benefited from a software solution that is easier to use, more reliable, and most importantly, more legally compliant for about half the cost.

PreLien2Lien is used by companies in thirty-one states.
Construction lien laws are different on a state-by-state basis. PreLien2Lien has over 1,600 legal lien notices that are customized per the laws of each state. While a significant portion of our customers are in our home state of California, in thirty-one (31) states elsewhere companies such as WASTE CONNECTIONS (Clifton Park, NY), ROBERTS SAND (Tallahassee, FL) and SUBURBAN SHEET METAL (Kennedale, TX) are using the software for their state’s respective lien laws.

Twenty companies are lien services.
A lien service prepares construction lien notices potentially on behalf of hundreds companies as a professional document preparer. Our own TRADITION LIEN SERVICE division has used PreLien2Lien to mail and record notices for the benefit of three hundred and eighty (380) customers. Companies in Chicago, IL, Phoenix, AZ and San Diego, CA represent a portion of the twenty (20) lien service entities that use PreLien2Lien and it’s online portal, www.MyLienCenter.com.

Twelve companies switched recently to PreLienLien Online.
Our new software as a service (Saas) solution released in December 2015 for construction lien management is PreLien2Lien Online (www.PL2L.com). Current online customers including GB SYSTEMS (Kenmore, WA), PARCELL STEEL (Corona, CA), and WAREHOUSE PAINT (Auburn, CA) are enjoying the benefit of logging on from any computer, cell phone or tablet with an internet connection. They can then enter construction project information for printing 1st notices, waivers, warnings, bond claims, stop notices and lien claims.

10 years of TRADITION SOFTWARE

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.

Using the UTAH State Construction Registry

To use the UTAH State Construction Registry at https://secure.utah.gov/account/login.html, you first create an online account. I found that the verfication email feature did not work, and had to call Customer Service 45 minutes after first creating my account in order to logon.

Here is picture of the user interface to create new notices for construction projects in UTAH.
1st screen to choose what action you want to initiate.

If you were a subcontrator, you would select the Project Type radio button that matches your type of project, then press the Preliminary Notice link to enter the information regarding legal parties, address, legal description, etc…. for a project.
Preliminary Notice data entry page.

One annoying feature of this site is that if I enter a project for a customer whose Owner is “ALTMAN LAND INVESTMENTS”, I will then get other emails for any other projects that “ALTMAN LAND INVESTMENTS” is an Owner for. There was no “LOG OUT” button that could be found, so don’t go to this site on a public computer. Finally, while the cost was minimal ($1.25), you do have to have a company credit card to file a notice.

TRADITION NOTICE SERVICES will record notices in UTAH for customers at our usual fee rate which ranges from $23 for a 1st notice to $160 to record a construction lien.

Must use a Process Server to serve the required MISSOURI Notice Of Intent To File Mechanic’s Lien Statement

MISSOURI is one of a handful of states that require a warning notice be delivered to an Owner as a prerequisite to recording a construction lien. To make things more complicated, with an added cost, MISSOURI Revised Statutes § 429-100 states that “Every person except the original contractor, who may wish to avail himself of the benefit of the provisions of sections 429.010 to 429.340, shall give ten days’ notice before the filing of the lien, as herein required, to the owner, owners or agent, or either of them, that he holds a claim against such building or improvement, setting forth the amount and from whom the same is due. Such notice may be served by any officer authorized by law to serve process in civil actions, or by any person who would be a competent witness. When served by an officer, his official return endorsed thereon shall be proof thereof, and when served by any other person, the fact of such service shall be verified by affidavit of the person so serving.”

To translate this – draft up your MISSOURI Notice of Intent to File Mechanic’s Lien Statement using PreLien2Lien or contract with TRADITION NOTICE SERVICES. If your project was in or around St. Louis, and you are handling this yourself, contact a reputable Process Server company like PRO SERVE at (314) 961-2222. For $60, they will serve your notice on the Owner, and make sure that you are in compliance with the MISSOURI Revised Statutes § 429-100.

One other issue to remember for MISSOURI is that while you have 6 months to record a Mechanic’s Lien Statement with a required 10 day warning notice, it is NOT 6 months PLUS 10 days. The entire lien process is limited to 6 months from the LAST date equipment, labor, materials or services are furnished for a project. Our conservative opinion is always to be proactive and send the warning notice at some point after 90 days but before the fifth month. Negotiated settlements or business disputes can cause enough of a delay to put you right up against the 6 month deadline to record a Mechanic’s Lien Statement.

Recording Liens in Travis County, Texas

Recording Liens in Travis County, Texas:

Travis County is the home of the city of Austin, state capitol of Texas, and Texas has a long history of marching to the beat of its own drummer. So it’s not surprising that the process of recording of Lien Affidavits would have its own nuances. Following are a few of the highlights.

If you are sending regular First Class mail, you would use their P.O. Box (P.O. Box 149325, Austin, TX 78714). However USPS Express or Priority Mail should go directly to their street address (5501 Airport Boulevard, Austin, TX 78751.) These take priority and are recorded the same day received.

Fees are comparable to many other Texas counties: $16.00 for the first page & $3.00 for each additional page. Be sure there is at least a 3″ margin at the bottom of the last page, or an extra fee of $4.00 applies.

There are no requirements for the “legal property description”.

They do not do Conformed Copies, but will send you a Certified Copy for an extra fee of $6.00 for the first page, and $1.00 for each additional page. On the bright side, the entire Lien Affidavit can be viewed and printed from their website within about 3-5 days of recording.

If you would like to have your lien recorded in a matter of hours, Tradition Software can E-FILE your Lien Affidavit for just $25.00 plus the county’s recording fees. Just send us a PDF of your notarized lien and we can submit it for you.

All CALIFORNIA forms change July 1st. PreLien2Lien v. 16.07.01 available June 29th.

As many people are becoming aware of, CALIFORNIA will have several changes to its construction lien laws effective July 1, 2012. Most of the changes are minor and intended to standardize and simplify the California lien laws into a new subdivisions–Civil Codes §§ 8100-9556.

We have carefully rewritten each notice, updated the corresponding explanations in the Print Menu, and updated custom templates purchased previously by customers who paid the $50 template customization fee.

PreLien2Lien v. 16.07.01 will be available for download from this website on Friday, June 29th. This new version will do a find/replace to update the CALIFORNIA notices for the software. TRADITION SOFTWARE’s Customer Service Department will be calling customers who have custom templates for CALIFORINA to help install any templates that need changes for the new laws.

Ability To Print A Conditional/Unconditional Waiver And Release Upon Final/Progress Payment Added To MyLienCenter.com

PreLien2Lien:Lien Service-USA annual subscribers will get a powerful new feature starting in April 2012 to benefit their business. The ability to print an Conditional/Unconditional Waiver And Release Upon Final/Progress Payment has been added to MyLienCenter.com, the online customer website that is integrated with PreLien2Lien. Co-developed by Craig Altman and Miriam Liskin, users will be able to select their project information within MyLienCenter.com and print by state legally compliant waivers and releases for the followng four commmon notices:

-Conditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment
-Conditional Waiver And Release Upon Progress Payment
-Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment
-Unconditional Waiver And Release Upon Progress Payment

Cost for PreLien2Lien:Lien Service – USA subscribers will be $400 per year. This cost will be in addition to the $600 per year cost to license the PreLien2Lien:Lien Service – USA edition and the $12 per year fee for a lien service’s customer to see their notices online in Adobe PDF format.

Our lien service customers have been asking for this feature for quite some time. This new feature is the first step as part of a long range software development plan to offer a full featured online version of PreLien2Lien.

New TEXAS Waiver And Release Notices Ready For January 1, 2012

Effective January 1, 2012, pursuant to subchapter L, Chapter 53, TEXAS Property Code, statutory forms are required for any waiver and release of a lien or payment bond claim. An excellent reference for these changes can be found on the TEXAS Construction Association website at the following link: http://www.texcon.org/index.php/resources

The following notices have significant new updates:
-Conditional Waiver And Release Upon Final Payment
-Conditional Waiver And Release Upon Progress Payment
-Unconditional Waiver And Release Upon Final Payment
-Unconditional Waiver And Release Upon Progress Payment

Current customers EAST TEXAS REFRIGERATION and LEHIGH-HANSON gave us external reminders recently about the upcoming change. While we are always working hard to proactively be informed about pending law changes, I always appreciate that our customers expect our software solution to work reliably and be legal so that they can count on it when needed.

The new PreLien2Lien V. 16.01.01, to be released on Friday, December 30th, will have these notices in the software. Word document versions for $12.95 each were uploaded to our online store today.

Use of a Notary for these Waivers is highly suggested. Additionally, use of added language, through dates, special instructions, invoice numbers and other added text is strongly discouraged, as any variation in text will deviate from the statuatory language. While you might not have a problem 99% of the time, the time your added language gets challenged in a lawsuit could make you learn a very difficult lesson. Our opinion is always to keep a document as clean, brief and statuatory as possible. Don’t give someone an opening to challenge you.

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