[Solved] How do you deal with pushback when sending notices?  

 

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Sometimes owners and GCs don't like receiving prelims (but they should). How do you deal with someone who gets upset over receiving notices?

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We send a light-hearted humorous cover sheet with our notices telling our customers not to panic about the legal notice that is attached. The cover sheet gives us an opportunity to explain in lay man's terms the notice they are receiving and why we are sending it. The humor offsets the tension. That alone has cut back on the number of calls I receive regarding the notices. 

We also send notices early. It increased the notices sent, however our customers receive the notice when things are less tense and payment is not past due yet so there are no payment issues to compound the issue of them receiving a standard legal notice since it is understood they would not have received or released payment yet.

We send the notices consistently. By sending them consistently your customers and owners begin to recognize and expect them. It's when they are irregular or with a new GC or property owner that you will get more push back because they may not be familiar with receiving mechanic lien notices for construction.

After all this, if a GC or an owner does call us to discuss, just talk to them about it. Tell them in conversation what the letter stated: this is a standard notice, required by state law that we are complying with to preserve our lien rights and that it is quite common in the construction industry and we send it out on all projects over a specific amount by company policy.  Answer any questions and concerns they may have.  Usually this enough to resolve it. You can inform them once you receive payment you will be happy to provide an unconditional waiver and/or a retraction letter stating that you have been paid. 

@rbrewer I've never heard of incorporating humor into cover sheets. What a great idea! Would love to see what they say if you're comfortable sharing.

That's awesome insight, thank you! I'm with Charlotte - never really heard of using humor to offset the tension, but it really is a great idea. Glad it's working for you!

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Attached is a copy of our cover letter.  If we sent you a notice you would be seeing it. 🙂 Our general counsel actually came up with it as a draft but we loved it and couldn't do any better. It still makes me laugh.

Notice Coverletter

I can see why! I love it.

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