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How to get a lien release if the lien holder is no where to be found

TexasLien Releases

My lien holder is a Individual who has been out of country for a few years. And will remain gone. And no way to get in contact with him.

1 reply

Jun 26, 2018
That's a tough situation - but not necessarily an uncommon one. Mechanics lien deadlines are strict, and it's not terribly surprising that a claimant might file a lien but fail to enforce it in a timely manner. When a mechanics lien has been filed and the time to enforce the lien is long gone, a property owner can likely have the lien released without all that much pushback. But first, the enforcement deadline: to be sure, in Texas, a claimant's deadline to enforce will depend on the type of project. For non-residential property, an enforcement action must be initiated by the later of either 1) 2 years after the last date on which the lien claimant could file his lien, or 2) 1 year after termination, completion, or abandonment or the project. If the property is residential, then it must be enforced by either 1 year from the last date on which the claimant could file a lien, or 1 year after the termination, completion, or abandonment of the project - whichever is later. If the time for a claimant to enforce their lien has truly passed, an owner will typically have a few options to remove a filed lien - none of which are particularly expedient. First, a claimant can file a summary motion as set out by § 53-160 of the Texas Property Code. This is a legal action, meaning an owner will likely need to hire an attorney and be prepared for the headaches that ensue with litigation - particularly, the time and money required. Another option might be to "bond off" the lien. Owners and contractors can bond off a filed mechanics lien by posting a surety bond to take the place of a filed lien. While this might result in a more timely removal of the lien, it might be an expensive option. While neither of the above options seems particularly desirable, an owner can also always just leave the unenforceable lien as is. When a lien is far beyond its enforceable period, often, the filing will not create insurmountable issues with the title. Finally, a good option might be for an owner to discuss the matter with their attorney and title company. Both parties will be able to take a deeper look at the circumstances surrounding the given situation and assess the options for moving forward. Particularly with a title company, this situation is not all that unheard of, and they will likely have a preferred method for moving forward.
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