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A detailed outline of how to process the California 20-day Preliminary
that is available here at our site
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Download the California 20-Day preliminary notice form
First, purchase and download a copy of the preliminary notice form that we use
we process our own prelims, by visiting this
page (it'll open in a separate window so you won't lose your place here :).
Fill in the
California 20-Day preliminary notice form
Once you've got the form open on your computer, you'll
be able to move your cursor over the various fields to
fill in the applicable information.
The fields each have
little windows that will pop up when you "mouse-over" them,
with instructions as to what needs to be entered into
each particular field.
all information to verify it. If you don't research
and verify, you might miss someone.
If you do miss even
just one, it could cause you to lose your lien rights.
Print the California 20-Day preliminary
After you've filled in the form, go ahead and print how ever
many originals you need. You'll need
one for each entity listed on the form as well as one for
Prepare the certified
When you are preparing your envelopes and postal forms
(the postal forms are discussed in the next section), you
can do it much quicker if you use your computer (or typewriter)
to print the addresses on labels.
Each mailing requires
you to provide the 'mail to' address three (3) times and
your own return address a minimum of two (2) times.
you use your word processor application you can create
the labels, print them, peel them and apply them to the
required areas of your paperwork. Not only does this save
you time but it also saves you from experiencing that wonderful
You can also use your printer/typewriter to address your
envelope(s), and just use the labels for the postal forms,
which is much easier than trying to get those pesky little
postal forms to stay put in your typewriter/printer so
you can type on them... :)
Please note that the Post Office has stated that they can
better process your mail if you address your envelopes by
typing, stamping, or printing extremely legibly, the recipient's
address as well as the return address, in all CAPITAL LETTERS
and no punctuation marks.
Mail (also known as Serve) the California 20-Day preliminary
The preliminary notice has to be mailed certified or registered,
with the return receipt being optional. For a list of the
fees visit the USPS.gov website.
Even though requesting a return receipt costs more and
isn't required, we still do request it and recommend that
you do too.
Once you've mailed (served) the preliminary notice form(s), then you'll need to fill in the "California 20-Day Preliminary Notice Proof of Service Affidavit" form, and keep it in a safe place (I suggest keeping it in the job folder).
Once you have the return receipt(s) in your
hands, you know that your notice has been served and your
rights have been protected. You'll want to keep the return receipt(s) with the Proof of Service Affidavit.
Part 6 of this series of articles
consists of a detailed walkthrough on how to keep track
of your return receipts, rather than counting on the Post
Office to do it for you.
There are two postal forms you'll need to obtain from the
Post Office, in order to mail your prelim certified:
* Domestic Return Receipt PS Form 3811
* Certified Mail Receipt PS Form 3800
The easiest way to make sure you are preparing the certified
mailing documents correctly is to go to the post office
and get their help.
Once they've shown you how to prepare
your envelope and forms, you can grab a bunch of the forms
and keep them in your office, along with enough postage
to mail several notices.
When I purchase postage I usually
buy enough to mail between 10 and 15 notices. And when you run low, on stamps and/or the required forms, sometimes you can leave a note in your mailbox asking your postal carrier to leave some in your mailbox for you (but include a check for the postage).
Once you've done this, you won't have to make any more
trips to the post office to send your certified mail! I did this the entire time we were contractors so hopefully they haven't changed it since then (your mail-person can tell you).
Below is a list of all the sections available on this
topic. The next section (Part
6) will show you how to organize and keep track of your copies
of the certified mailing postal forms.
Part 1 - Process your California 20-Day Preliminary Notice or lose out on your lien rights!
Part 2 - Researching and verifying preliminary notice information
Part 3 - Software can help you process preliminary notices super-quick! <-- No longer available
Part 4 - Outsourcing your preliminary notices
Part 5 - Processing preliminary notices using the form available here
Part 6 - Don't let a slip-up at the post office cause you to lose your rights
Part 7 - Mistaken Identity - by Attorney Dave Barnier...
Part 8 - Some common mistakes you MUST avoid !!
Part 9 - LienLawOnline is a valuable asset to add to your library of helpful sites
Thank you for visiting our site. I hope that this
series of articles is helpful to you! I'm always happy to receive
feedback, so please
do send me a note if you have anything you'd like to tell me.
Thank you!! :)
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