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How to place a Lien on a Customer who refuses to pay and Stole our tools.

TexasRecovery OptionsRight to Lien

Client refused to pay last Part of Contract Causing Delays on her project, and Preventing us from Finishing 100%. Client took keys from our lockbox, and Emptied out the House taking more than $4,000 worth of Tools and Equipment, Also recently Client Called Credit Card Issuer to dispute transactions for a project thats has been done at 90% since she Stopped us. Extra Scope of work had to be done in order for us to Complete the project and she refused to pay for that alleging that the first Scope of work hasn’t been completed as for what she had paid for.

1 reply

Jan 31, 2019
I'm very sorry to hear about that. First, for anything that was stolen, broken into, or fraudulently done - damages might be attainable. Further, damages based on breach of contract could also be appropriate. Further, criminal penalties could potentially come into play. However, obtaining damages would require the filing of a lawsuit (or at least the threat of a lawsuit) in order to recover anything. But, as far as mechanics lien rights go, mechanics lien rights exist for construction work that's been performed and unpaid. The amount of a lien will tie directly to the value of work provided, less any payments that have already been made. So, while damages might be available for activities like theft and fraud, those amounts cannot be included in a mechanics lien claim. In fact, inclusion of improper amounts that do not directly relate to the value of work performed would likely invalidate a filed lien claim or even potentially result in a fraudulent lien. For more on mechanics lien claims, this resource should be valuable: Texas Lien & Notice FAQs. For more on the ability to recover based on theft, fraud, or other theories of recovery - it'd likely be worthwhile to consult a local attorney to have them assess the circumstances and provide legal advice. Alternatively, there are some other online resources that might be helpful - like Avvo.
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