We filed 47 liens in different counties in Texas but failed to send notices to property owners within the 5 day period. How can we still collect.
Mar 11, 2019
I'm sorry to hear about that. As mentioned above, Texas mechanics lien claimants must provide notice of the filed lien within 5 days after filing their lien. If a TX lien is filed, but not served, that lien very well may be invalid and unenforceable if later challenged or if enforcement of the lien is attempted. Where a claimant has filed liens but failed to send notice, there are a handful of potential responses. For one, a claimant might try and send notice of their lien filing late in hopes that late notice will still be effective. While the Texas Property Code is silent as to the penalty for late notice, some states will allow lien claims to remain effective, even when notice is given late, where the property owner(s) were not prejudiced by late notice. Of course, in other states, the lien claim might be completely dissolved by lack of notice - so the issue of late notice could turn either way. Another potential option might be to release lien filings where notice was not properly given, then to refile those claims and to send notice as required. Of course, if the deadline to file the underlying lien claim has passed, then releasing and refiling a lien might no longer be possible. For more on the TX lien deadline, this resource should help: Texas Lien and Notice FAQs. Another option may be to pursue some other method of recovery - such as lawsuit - where a lien claim appears to be invalid and unenforceable. zlien discusses that option here: Other Options for Recovery. Finally, yet another option may be to do nothing (at least for some amount of time). Generally, mechanics lien claims don't make it to the courtroom - most lien disputes are resolved without the need for legal action. So, some underlying flaw in a lien claim might not be fatal for recovery if the lien won't actually be scrutinized by attorneys or a judge. At the same time, providing notice of the lien filing does make the property owners (and/or other necessary parties) aware of the lien filing - and it could be hard to recover based on a lien claim no one knows about. Ultimately, how to proceed when a lien claim has been filed but notice has not been sent will be up to the lien claimant - and that decision will be based on a number of factors. For advice on how best to proceed, it would be wise to consult a local construction or real estate attorney - they'll be able to review the situation and determine how best to move forward.