Posts Tagged ‘zlien.com’

New Orleans Business Market Receives National Acclaim

Over the weekend a good friend living in New York City, sent me a link to a Wall Street Journal article which outlines what all of us here in New Orleans have been seeing over the past few years, new exciting business growth. The article by Douglas McCollam, talks about the success of the non-profit Idea Village which was started in NOLA a decade ago.

The most telling aspect of McCollam’s piece is how he sees, and how it is apparent to New Orleans residents, that the attitude and culture of business has changed. Hurricane Katrina helped to rid the city of the negative attitude and filled it with a group of forward thinking resilient entrepreneurs who want to make a difference, while at the same time making a dollar.

One of the more colorful excerpts from McCollam’s article addresses the problem with the former attitude of the city,

“We had found the root of the problem.” It’s a problem that New Orleans seems to have overcome in the years since Hurricane Katrina—so much so that Mr. Williamson can now afford a little levity.

Other positive organizations that are helping to aid in business growth and entrepreneurial spirit include the New Orleans Startup Fund. This all ties into constructionlawmonitor.com because, NOLA startup fund recently picked Zlien.com as one of its featured start up companies to help grow and become a successful New Orleans and nation-wide company. Zlien.com was founded by Wolfe Law Group founder, Scott G. Wolfe, Jr. Scott is the embodiment of the Wall Street Journal article and the national focus on our great city.

The winds of change are among us here in New Orleans and its a great time to live in this city. McCollum points out that Forbes and Inc.com have recently coined New Orleans as a harbor for business growth and young talent. Only time will tell how this will change this city, but it will be a fun ride nonetheless.

Posted in:     Around The Web, Common Topics, Construction News, Louisiana  /  Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   /   Leave a comment

The Construction Lien Center

Construction Liens: Probably the most frequently discussed legal topic amongst contractors, the construction lien can be a very powerful tool for your company to avoid costly disputes and non-paying projects.

Here’s the catch: You must use it correctly.

There are lots of twists and turns in the Washington and Louisiana mechanic lien statutes. Wolfe Law Group has attorneys who are experienced in preparing, filing, enforcing and disputing construction liens.

Additionally, we have over 20 articles at WolfeLaw.com about construction liens, construction lien notices (Preliminary Notices), disputing construction liens, enforcing construction liens and more…


Construction Lien Articles


Construction Lien Forms – Free
Our website does more than just talk about liens…we provide you with free lien forms, notice forms and more. Here is a listing of some of the forms available for free download at WolfeLaw.com. Be sure to read our Disclaimer.

Louisiana Lien Forms:

Washington Lien Forms:


Lien Frequently Asked Questions
To read some of our Frequently Asked Questions about construction and mechanic’s liens, visit the Lien FAQs page.


Zlien, Inc.
Are you interested in having your construction lien professionally drafted, filed and distributed to all interested parties – all without lifting a finger?

Zlien is the Smarter Way to Lien. Liens are filed and delivered for $295.00 each, Preliminary Notices and Notices of Intent to Lien are $35.00, and Lien Cancellations are $125.00.

Learn more at www.zlien.com.

Posted in:     About Our Services, Dispute A Lien, Louisiana, Mechanics Lien, Washington  /  Tags: , , ,   /   Leave a comment

Identifying Property in a Mechanics Lien

This article originally appeared at Wolfe Law Group’s blog, http://www.wolfelaw.com, and is reproduced here with permission.

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When filing a mechanic’s lien on a construction project, it is of course critical to identify the property within your lien. While a seemingly simple task, the laws in nearly every state are very specific about how property is identified…and the consequences of small mistakes can be fatal.

In most states, for example, the statutes and case law governing private construction liens clearly require a “property description” that is more specific than a municipal address. While the law does not explicitly require a “legal property description,” it is clear from the court’s interpretation of the laws that a legal property description is sufficient and a municipal address is not.

Since courts are typically not reluctant to dismiss a lien when simple formalities – such as the property description – are overlooked, to ensure your lien’s validity a legal property description should be used.

What Is A Legal Property Description?
Perhaps the best way to explain legal property descriptions is to demonstrate what it is not; A legal property description is not a simple address.

Accordingly, if you put something like this on your lien to identify a property, your lien is likely invalid:

123 Main Street
Seattle, WA 98134

If you were given a legal property description and a driving map, you’d probably have a very difficult time finding the property. This is because legal property descriptions typically speak in the language of county recorder offices, and not in the common directional parlance of everyday life. A legal property description looks less like the above and more like this:

Subdivision: Breatheway
Range: 105
Lot: 66
County: King
Square: 4-A

Want the technical definition?

A legal description (also referred to as land description, property description or land boundary description) is “a written statement recognized by law as to the definite location of a track of land by reference to a survey, recorded map or adjoining property.”

How To Get the Legal Property Description

In many construction contracts (including AIA contracts), the contracting party in the higher tier is responsible for providing the legal property description to the lower tier party upon request. While very infrequently employed, most contractors have the right to make a simple RFI and acquire this valuable information.

It is sometimes better to make this RFI before work begins, as you’ll be less likely to get a party’s cooperation after a dispute arises. And since there are strict time limitations as to when you can and cannot lien, it is valuable to have this information at hand while things are smooth.

If you do not have the ability to request this as per your contract, or if you’re unable to get the information for practical reasons, there are of course other ways to acquire a legal property description, including:

  • Go to the county records office, and pull the Act of Sale for the property. This document will likely have the property description within.
  • Use a service to acquire the legal property description. There are many online services such as www.HomeInfoMax.com. If you are filing a construction lien, companies like Zlien.com will draft the lien and acquire the legal property description for you.
  • An attorney may have access to county or parish records to acquire this information.

Common Mistakes and Problems

Sometimes, finding a legal property description can be very difficult.

Depending on your location, the records of the county or parish may or may not be complete or easy to use. If your address is in an area that has been recently subdivided or sold, the legal property description might be “up in the air” or otherwise difficult to obtain. Finally, property on corners or with multiple addresses may be difficult to find.

In our experience, we’ve even encountered instances when the municipal address used by a property owner is not the actual or correct address of the property, and as such, not likely to lead you to a correct legal property description.

In short, you should be careful when acquiring a legal property description as there are many tricks to the trade and many pitfalls for the unwary. Legal property descriptions are very precise, and very fickle. Since the stakes are high (the validity or invalidity of your construction lien), pay close attention as to how you describe the liened property.

Posted in:     Mechanics Lien  /  Tags: , , , , ,   /   3 Comments

Identifying Property in a Mechanics Lien

When filing a mechanic’s lien on a construction project, it is of course critical to identify the property within your lien. While a seemingly simple task, the laws in nearly every state are very specific about how property is identified…and the consequences of small mistakes can be fatal.

In Louisiana and Washington, for example, the statutes and case law governing private construction liens clearly require a “property description” that is more specific than a municipal address. While the law does not explicitly require a “legal property description,” it is clear from the court’s interpretation of the laws that a legal property description is sufficient and a municipal address is not.

Since both Louisiana and Washington courts are not reluctant to dismiss a lien when simple formalities – such as the property description – are overlooked, to ensure your lien’s validity a legal property description should be used.

What Is A Legal Property Description?
Perhaps the best way to explain legal property descriptions is to demonstrate what it is not; A legal property description is not a simple address.

Accordingly, if you put something like this on your lien to identify a property, your lien is likely invalid:

123 Main Street
Seattle, WA 98134

If you were given a legal property description and a driving map, you’d probably have a very difficult time finding the property. This is because legal property descriptions typically speak in the language of county recorder offices, and not in the common directional parlance of everyday life. A legal property description looks less like the above and more like this:

Subdivision: Breatheway
Range: 105
Lot: 66
County: King
Square: 4-A

Want the technical definition?

A legal description (also referred to as land description, property description or land boundary description) is “a written statement recognized by law as to the definite location of a track of land by reference to a survey, recorded map or adjoining property.”

How To Get the Legal Property Description

In many construction contracts (including AIA contracts), the contracting party in the higher tier is responsible for providing the legal property description to the lower tier party upon request. While very infrequently employed, most contractors have the right to make a simple RFI and acquire this valuable information.

It is sometimes better to make this RFI before work begins, as you’ll be less likely to get a party’s cooperation after a dispute arises. And since there are strict time limitations as to when you can and cannot lien, it is valuable to have this information at hand while things are smooth.

If you do not have the ability to request this as per your contract, or if you’re unable to get the information for practical reasons, there are of course other ways to acquire a legal property description, including:

  • Go to the county records office, and pull the Act of Sale for the property. This document will likely have the property description within.
  • Use a service to acquire the legal property description. There are many online services such as www.HomeInfoMax.com. If you are filing a construction lien, companies like Zlien.com will draft the lien and acquire the legal property description for you.
  • An attorney may have access to county or parish records to acquire this information.

Common Mistakes and Problems

Sometimes, finding a legal property description can be very difficult.

Depending on your location, the records of the county or parish may or may not be complete or easy to use. If your address is in an area that has been recently subdivided or sold, the legal property description might be “up in the air” or otherwise difficult to obtain. Finally, property on corners or with multiple addresses may be difficult to find.

In our experience, we’ve even encountered instances when the municipal address used by a property owner is not the actual or correct address of the property, and as such, not likely to lead you to a correct legal property description.

In short, you should be careful when acquiring a legal property description as there are many tricks to the trade and many pitfalls for the unwary. Legal property descriptions are very precise, and very fickle. Since the stakes are high (the validity or invalidity of your construction lien), pay close attention as to how you describe the liened property.

Posted in:     Louisiana, Mechanics Lien, Washington  /  Tags: , ,   /   Leave a comment

All Notices Are Not Created Equal: Prelim Notice v Notice of Intent to Lien

In the world of construction liens, the word “Notice” gets frequent use. The technical nature of each state’s notice requirements, however, are often misunderstood.

In general, there are 2 types of “notices” required by lien statutes: Preliminary Notice & Notice of Intent to Lien.

Preliminary Notice vs. Notice of Intent to Lien
A “Preliminary Notice” must usually be provided to the notified party before work begins on a construction project, or within a certain time frame from when materials and/or materials are first furnished.

A “Notice of Intent to Lien,” on the other hand, must usually be provided to the notified party before filing a lien, usually 7-15 days before the filing.

As you can see from these simple definitions, the requirements are extremely different. And it’s safe to assume that if your project and state requires notice, the failure to send it will result in the forfeiture of your company’s lien rights.

When Is Notice Required?
Every state’s requirements are different – and unfortunately, quite technical. Not only does the technical nature of lien statutes make them difficult to understand and interpret, but they also result in sometimes absurd consequences.

Here are some general notice trends:

  • Frequent Rule #1: Almost every state has notice requirements when work is being performed on an “owner-occupied” residence. In theory, this is to protect homeowners from getting burned and having to pay contractors twice. Some states (like Pennsylvania) even prohibit liens against single family homeowner residences. If you’re working on an “owner-occupied” residence – check your state’s lien laws.
  • Frequent Rule #2: The further down the chain you are, the more likely notice is required. Across the nation, there are more notice requirements for subcontractors than prime contractors, and more notice requirements for sub-subcontractors and suppliers than 1st tier subcontractors. If you’re contracting with a subcontractor – check your state’s lien laws.


Zlien.Com
has one of the best free resources for construction lien laws in the United States. View our FAQs, state lien law outlines and summaries, and even download free lien forms on our public wiki: http://wiki.zlien.com.

If you’re looking for information about your state, you can go to the state directory at http://states.zlien.com, or simply enter http://yourstate.zlien.com in as a URL. Of course, in place of “your state,” you should enter your state’s name.

Notice Chart
Here is a quick-glance “notice chart” giving you shorthand rules about the notice requirements in the states we service. Click Here.

Posted in:     About Our Services, Filing Requirements, Mechanics Lien  /  Tags: , , , ,   /   1 Comment