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I have several questions about a mechanic's lien as an original contracter

TexasLien ForeclosureRecovery OptionsRight to Lien

I am with a pest control company, and I have several questions. In 2017, we contracted work to a house-building company to treat the yard before the house was built. The houses they built have since been sold. We have yet to be paid for our services, and we need to know if we can file a mechanic's lien on the houses (I don't think so, since we didn't have a contract with the people who now live in those houses) or if we can do a texas constitutional lien? If the constitutional lien, what forms do I fill out? I have the forms for the affidavit for the mechanic's lien. Also, what does it cost to set up an account and file maybe 2-3 of them a year? Also, when we file whatever lien we are going to for this one company, do we have to go to court each time, or can we go for all at one time?

1 reply

Aug 24, 2018
I'm sorry to hear you've gone unpaid - everyone deserves to be paid what they've earned. First, as hinted at above, the time for filing a statutory mechanics lien has certainly passed. In Texas, a statutory lien must be filed a mechanics lien must be filed by the 15th day of the 4th month after the month in which the lien claimant last furnished labor or material to the project. This timeframe is shortened to the 15th day of the 3rd month on residential jobs, but residential projects in Texas do not include projects on vacant land. Regarding a constitutional lien, constitutional liens in Texas do not have the same strict timeframe as statutory liens, and they exist regardless of whether the lien is recorded. However, unless a constitutional lien is recorded in the property record, a constitutional lien will not bind a bona fide purchaser of the property. When property is sold to a third party and there is no lien claim of record, the constitutional lien will not run with the land. However, on a more general basis: utilizing the same form as a statutory mechanics lien, but indicating that the lien is a constitutional lien, then filing that form in the appropriate county records will establish a constitutional lien in the property. Regarding the enforcement of a mechanics lien (which does not become necessary in the strong majority of claims), a separate enforcement action would be required for each lien claim filed - this is because when a lien is filed, the lien attaches to the property where work is performed, not the party who has failed to pay. Thus, each lien claim, even when the result of the same non-paying customer, would require a its own enforcement action. Finally, it's worth mentioning that work like pest control might not give rise to lien rights. Generally, mechanics lien rights are reserved for those who perform construction labor, materials, or services for the permanent improvement of property. This varies some state by state, but when work does not constitute a permanent improvement, lien rights may not be effective to secure payment. While a mechanics lien filing may not necessarily be an option for recovery, sending monthly notices and a Notice of Intent to Lien could still be effective to compel payment. In Texas, parties who are not hired directly by the property owner must send monthly notices in order to preserve the right to lien. You can learn more about those here. Further, while not required in Texas, a Notice of Intent to Lien can be effective to speed up payments, too. It acts like a final warning - it says that, if payment is not made, a mechanics lien will be filed on the project. Considering a mechanics lien is such a drastic remedy, owners and contractors will typically have to address the debt to avoid a lien dispute. You can learn more about that document here: Notice Of Intent To Lien May Be Enough To Get You Paid. F inally, regarding zlien pricing, you can learn more at the zlien Pricing Page. Further, zlien has a pay-as-you-go service for individual documents. You can find that here: zlien Document Navigator.
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