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Common Mistakes to Avoid: Ordering Documents

Posted by Antoinette Abboud

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5/12/15 1:30 PM

Ordering documents through the zlien platform is a quick and easy process. There are, however, some common mistakes that users make while placing orders. This post addresses those common mistakes and how to avoid them.  
If you are placing an order for a document through zlien, you should be aware of some of the common mistakes made during the order process, such as not rushing items with fast-approaching deadlines or confusing products on the platform.

Not rushing A Document with a fast-approaching deadline

Ultimately, the decision on whether or not you should rush a document is entirely up to you. There are, however, best practices for when a document should be rushed.

Standard processing time at zlien is 2-5 business days. This refers to the amount of time it takes to research and prepare the documents in house before it is mailed. This  does not include the amount of time that it takes to mail the document or the amount of time it takes to record the document. A rush on an order is typically an additional $95 fee for expedited orders, which means that it will be prepared in-house within 1 business day. If you are on a subscription plan or if you are an Enterprise client, the rush fee will only apply to claims and satisfactions (lien, bond claims, lien release, etc).

Should you decide to rush a notice, it does NOT mean that your notice is mailed via overnight delivery. It means that it is sent pursuant to the state's lien and notice requirements - which is generally certified mail or certified mail return receipt.

For liens and other documents that are required to be recorded with a county clerk, once everything has been confirmed (and any Research Notifications resolved), the Fulfillment Team will

  • Submit for electronic filing (if permitted by the county)
  • Send via FedEx Overnight directly to the clerk for recording (if not backlogged)
  • Send via FedEx Overnight directly to a courier to walk in your documents for filing (if backlogged)

All document filings are dictated by deadlines, which is why the rush service is available. For recording documents, we rely heavily on the efficiency of third parties, such as FedEx and county recorders, so you want to give yourself enough time to have your documents processed through these third parties. Weather can cause mailing delays and backlog issues at the recorders, and we cannot control how long it takes for the mailing service to deliver the document, or how long the recorder takes to file it.

It's always best to give yourself enough time so that you are not too close to the deadlines. If things are getting tight, try not to go below 10 days prior to the deadline. If your deadline is due in less than 10 days, it would be a best practice to consider placing a rush on that order.

Confusing Product Types

The terminology for different products varies across different states. To simplify this, we divided documents into several different product types that coincide with the zlien methodology. Under "Protect Your Project", you'll find any preliminary notice product. This could be anything from a preliminary notice, notice to owner, of a notice of contractual retainage.

There are several ways that you can check to make sure you are filing the correct document. From the deadlines tab, you can click on the "+" sign next to project.


From here, you will be able to see any upcoming deadlines on the project.


If you are in the project information page, you can view all the available documents from the "File A Document Tab".


You will find the documents under 3 different tabs: Protect Your Project, Not Paid? and Got Paid? Typically, preliminary notices and documents sent at the beginning of the project will be under "Protect Your Project", while "Not Paid" will have options for Notices of Intent to Lien and Claims. "Got Paid?" will have options for releasing or canceling your claim. If you do not know which document to file or what is required, you simply click on the magnifying glass for a product description.


These are useful ways to make sure you are filing the correct document. If you have set workflow settings and are working from the queue, you can also view product types directly from the queue, which is covered in The Queue: Revisted.

How to View Documents

Once you have placed an order, our Fulfillment Team will begin researching and preparing the document. Once that document is sent, you will have the prepared copy available on your account. If the document needs to be recorded, we will also provide the recorded copy on your account. You can access these documents either through the "associated orders" tab on the project information screen, or by going to "Orders" in the black navigation panel and clicking on "All Orders". Once you locate the order, just click on the "+" sign next to the order number.


You will see mail tracking information. Next to that tab, you'll click on "Files Associated With Order".


From here, you will be able to see and download any files that we have associated with your order.

Order Summary

Once you place an order, a summary will be created and added to your tab titled "Files Associated with Order". The order summary is created right when your order is placed. It is important to keep in mind that this is NOT a dynamic document: It will not change if you make any changes to your order after it is initially placed. For example, if you call 5 minutes after placing your order because you want to change the General Contractor's address, we can change that on the order and it will be updated in the document we send out, but it will not change on the order summary.

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Topics: Best Practices