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Homeowner is not paying what can I do

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Did a roof job files a claim for additional roof squares and some damage now homeowner is not paying final of original contract

1 reply

Mar 20, 2019
I'm sorry to hear that you've been going unpaid. As always, it's a good idea to resolve payment disputes as amicably as possible - and talking out the issue will often help move toward resolving the issue. But, when payment is owed but unpaid for construction work performed, typically, the most powerful tool for recovering payment will be to file a mechanics lien. We'll discuss that in a minute, but before it comes down to making a lien claim or a legal claim for payment, many claimants find that sending a warning or threat of a lien claim is enough to compel payment without actually having to follow through with a lien claim. By sending a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien, an unpaid contractor can show the owner they're serious about payment. You can learn more about that here: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien? As for the mechanics lien remedy itself - mechanics liens are construction's most powerful remedy, and they work in a number of ways to compel payment. A mechanics lien filing is a cloud to the property title. When a lien is filed, the property upon which the lien is filed becomes tough to borrow against and it becomes harder to sell. What's more, if an owner fails to resolve the issue, the lien can eventually be enforced, and foreclosure of the property may be in play. Now, most construction businesses don't want to be in the business of foreclosing property, but that's the beauty of the mechanics lien - if a mechanics lien is not dealt with, the consequences loom large for the owner. Because of this, when a mechanics lien is filed, payment is typically made in short order. In fact, the strong majority of lien claims are resolved without the need for any legal action. zlien discusses the effectiveness of lien claims here: How Do Mechanics Liens Work? Of course, beyond the threat or actual filing of a lien claim, there are other potential remedies - such as threatening legal action, pursuing an action in court or small claims court, or even sending a debt to collections. Here are some other resources that should also be helpful: (1) Texas Lien & Notice FAQs; and (2) How to File a Texas Mechanics Lien.
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