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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>As an attorney, I represent a roofing company. The roofing company completed a roof replacement and the customer is closing on the sale of the property without paying for the roofing. Closing to too soon to get a lien in place. Please advise?

As an attorney, I represent a roofing company. The roofing company completed a roof replacement and the customer is closing on the sale of the property without paying for the roofing. Closing to too soon to get a lien in place. Please advise?

TexasMechanics LienPayment Disputes

As an attorney, I represent a roofing company. The roofing company satisfactorily completed a roof replacement and the customer is closing on the sale of the property without paying for the roofing. The closing scheduled for tomorrow morning - to soon to get a lien in place. Please advise asap? I am a current zlien customer.

1 reply

Sep 7, 2017
As you know, there is obviously a breach of contract claim in here - but with regards to a lien claim and associated causes of action the situation is a bit more murky.

The general rule is that if the mechanics lien claim is timely filed, most states have little sympathy for the third party buyer. The claim is usually effective against the property, and the third party must seek his or her remedy from the original owner who sold them the property. However, this can be limited either by specific rule or through indirect implications.

Texas is an "unpaid balance" lien state - so any mechanics lien is limited to the amount the owner has not yet paid. In the case that the owner doesn't owe anything (which is the case for a bona fide third party purchaser) there can be no effective lien. However, it is likely that the property owner has made some sort of misrepresentation along the line that there are no outstanding debts or possible claims against the property which could open the old owner up to liability to the new owner.

Practically speaking, you can attempt to file a lien ASAP prior to the close, you could attempt to file a lien after the close and deal with the consequences and rope in all relevant parties after, or you could abandon the attempt to file a lien and pursue other legal remedies.

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