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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>If I have a signed Promissory Note from the General Contractor referring to himself as the Borrower and me as the Lender would I still need to file a lien or would I just take him to small claims court and how much time do I have to go after him for the amount owed if the papers were signed 13 moths ago?

If I have a signed Promissory Note from the General Contractor referring to himself as the Borrower and me as the Lender would I still need to file a lien or would I just take him to small claims court and how much time do I have to go after him for the amount owed if the papers were signed 13 moths ago?

TexasLawsuitRecovery OptionsRight to Lien

The builder owed me money on a project and said that I needed to sign an unconditional Lien Waiver so the bank financing the job will release the monies to get me paid since the job was completed.I refused as I did not want to give up my Lien rights and so he drafted up a Promissory Note and signed it stating the amount of Monet owed and the payout structure and of course did not honor that agreement.

1 reply

Apr 1, 2019
I'm sorry to hear you've gone unpaid. However, I will note that executing a promissory note when a lien waiver must be obtained is generally a pretty savvy move. First, it's worth noting that where a final lien waiver has been submitted, even where a promissory note has been signed, the right to file a mechanics lien against the property where work is performed is generally waived. A judgment lien against the property of the party submitting the promissory note could eventually be possible, but such a lien would need to come after receiving a judgment based on the promissory note (obtained via an action in court or small claims court) unless the promissory note itself grants some lien or property rights. As far as the timeframe for bringing an action based on a Texas promissory note, that timeframe appears to be either 4 or 6 years, depending on the nature of the instrument. Though, it's likely safer to assume that a 4 year (rather than a 6 year) deadline applies to the note. The following resources discuss Texas promissory notes in greater detail, and I think they'll be helpful here: (1) Collecting on a promissory note in Texas; and (2) Notes must be analyzed to determine whether a four or six year statute of limitations applies.
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