How to respond to a fraudulent lien claim?
To give a little back story, we filed a lien on a property which we provided materials and labor and did not receive payment. The executor of the estate for the property has hired a lawyer because they are trying to sell the house, which is in an estate (prior to our work, during and currently the property was in the estate) to complicate matters even more.
The lawyer is claiming that the lien we filed is fraudulent in accordance with Tex. Civil Practices & Remedies Code Chapter 12. They are claiming the lien is fraudulent because we were told to stop work, which we were not told to stop anything. Additionally, payment is still owed for labor and materials which was all for a job which was initiated way prior to the point they are claiming they told us to stop. We are seeking payment for work done and materials purchased for a job which began prior to the point they claim they told us to stop, which does not seem relevant to me especially since we were never told this to begin with. To add insult to injury the lawyer included a lien release document stating a settlement of $10 compensation would be given to us in return for the release of the lien.
Bottom line, these are my questions:
1. I know we didn’t file a fraudulent lien and therefore I can not even begin to wrap my mind around these accusations, what am I missing?
2. They claim to take us to court to remove the lien under the above mentioned code if we do not sign the enclosed document to release the lien in exchange for $10. It’s really confusing to us why a lawyer would threaten this, Can they lie and actually do this?
3. How are we supposed to respond to the lawyers document requesting us to accept $10 to release the lien on the house? (especially since we have no plans of releasing the lien without full payment or at least somewhere really close)
Thank you in advance for any help you might be able to provide!