How do I file a lien on retention in Texas

2 months ago

We have tried to collect the retention on one of our projects. It is complete and we billed on 11/25/18. How do we go about filing a lien on this

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

That’s a good question! Filing a lien on retainage is done much in the same way that a regular lien filing is made – by filing a mechanics lien document (called an “Affidavit of Lien”, in Texas) with the county recorder of the county where the construction work was performed. Keep in mind – there are filing fees associated with a mechanics lien filing, so be sure to contact the county recorder beforehand in order to double check what the fee will be for filing a lien on retainage. Further, keep in mind that there are notice and deadline requirements in order to be able to file a mechanics lien in Texas – and you can learn more about those here: Texas Lien and Notice Overview, FAQs, and Statutes.

Before deciding to file a mechanics lien, though, it’s worth mentioning that other recovery tools might be successful without the need for an actual lien filing. Specifically, because a mechanics lien is such a powerful tool, merely threatening that a lien will be filed can be an effective payment recovery tool. By sending a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien, a claimant can show their customer and/or the property owner that they’re serious about getting paid, and that a lien will be filed if push comes to shove. Property owners will want to avoid the potential of a lien claim, and that can help put extra pressure on a customer who’s been reluctant to make payment. For more on that idea, this article has some great information: What Is a Notice of Intent to Lien and Should I Send One?

For more information on how exactly to file a Texas lien, this guide has great info: How to File Your Texas Mechanics Lien.

I hope this was helpful! If you have other questions, please feel free to come back and post another question at the Ask an Expert Center!

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