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Can I file a lien if

TexasMechanics Lien

Can I still file a lien if the homeowner sold his home before paying?

1 reply

Jan 13, 2022

If the property is/was the owner's homestead (meaning that the owner owns the property and lives there) then your contract with the owner would have to satisfy the requirements of Texas Property Code sections 53.254, et seq., which requires specified homestead lien warnings, signing by husband and wife, and recordation in the county property records. 

You really should retain a construction attorney to review and evaluate your legal position based on the contract and pertinent documents. The right to be entitled to file a mechanic's lien is set out in Texas Property Code Chapter 53, and you really need to make sure that if you file a lien, you have properly and appropriately done so.

Filing an invalid lien could subject you to liability under the Texas Fraudulent Lien Act, and you could be liable for statutory damages of $10,000, or actual damages, whichever is greater, plus attorney's fees. Facing such a claim would add insult to injury.

You should consider preparing a letter to mail by certified mail to your customer to set out the facts, and to demand your money. Attach your invoice(s) and photographs of your completed work. Make sure that the letter is businesslike and professional as it may be evidence later.

If you do not receive payment, consider filing suit in small claims court using your letter as evidence (assuming your claim is less than $20,000).

Good luck.

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