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How Can I Fight a Constitutional Mechanic's Lien or Make a Counter Offer?

TexasMechanics Lien

I am in the process of selling my home and the title company found a constitutional mechanic's lien filed on it by a roofing contractor I used. The work was contracted (signed contract by me), deposit paid (half of contract amount) and finished (not 100% per the contract) in 2016. I discussed, lack for a better term, the final payment with multiple people in their office until August 2017 as the contractor was claiming I owed more than contracted. I learned of the lien filed in June of 2018 when the title company researched for the sale of my house the week of January 13,2020. A few questions: (1) when should the lien have been filed?, (2) should I have been informed at the time of filing?, (3) how do I get it removed since the amount is fraudulent compared to the contract? and (4) should I counter to get the lien removed to pay the amount owed, minus the unfinished work, per the contract? Need immediate help as my house is under contract. Plus, I worked really hard in 2017 get a final payment that aligned with my contract from the roofing contractor (I have documentation of the complete transaction from 2016 thru 2017). I believe their claim is fraudulent and they're being dishonest. Lastly, I just got back to work after being unemployed for a year so money is tight. I could really use your feedback and guidance soon. Thank you, Erin

1 reply

Feb 5, 2020
Constitutional mechanics liens don't have many of the same rules that Texas statutory mechanics liens do. There isn't a deadline for filing a constitutional mechanics lien in Texas, and a constitutional lien claimant doesn't have to provide an owner with notice of the filing (though, it's generally considered good form to send notice of the filing). Certainly, an owner could challenge the validity of the lien claim and prove that it's fraudulent (if that is the case) - but that'd require pursuing legal action to have the lien removed. So, it'd be wise to consult a local Texas construction attorney if that route will be pursued. Of course, the fastest way to have the lien removed would be to have the claimant do that themselves. As you mentioned above, one way to push for a lien removal would be to negotiate its release. If an owner offers to make partial payment on the lien, then it's possible they could find some middle ground with the lien claimant and have the lien released in exchange for that negotiated payment. Or, alternatively, an owner might be able to threaten legal action against a lien claimant who's filed a questionable lien - and the potential for damages could convince the claimant to release their claim before a legal dispute takes place. Finally, this resource may be helpful, too: A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now?
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