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If I file a lien for an amount including retainage is the GC supposed to pay the full amount or minus retainage?

Texas

If I file a lien for an amount including retainage is the GC supposed to pay the full amount or minus retainage? I filed a lien for full amount owed and want to know if they have to pay everything including retainage or can they hold back retainage?

1 reply

Jan 14, 2022

Theoretically, the amount of a mechanic's lien should reflect the value of the improvements conferred on the real property. So, including retainage is proper. Whether the retainage is due and owing under your contract may be a different story. 

If you receive some payment, you should reduce the amount of your lien.

You really should retain a construction attorney to review and evaluate your legal position based on the subcontract and pertinent documents. The right to be entitled to file a mechanic's lien is set out in Texas Property Code Chapter 53, and you really need to make sure that the subcontractor's lien was proper and appropriate.

Filing an invalid lien could subject the filer to liability under the Texas Fraudulent Lien Act, and the filer could be liable for statutory damages of $10,000, or actual damages, whichever is greater, plus attorney's fees. 

Good luck.

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