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is it to late to file a Mechanic's Lien in the State of Texas work was complete June/July 2018

TexasLien DeadlinesMechanics Lien

My company completed a roofing job and met with the homeowner that called our work into question. They also said that there was a leak and asked our company to repair the leak before they would release the remains of the insurance money to complete payment on the job. Our company chose not to do the repair work until after we were paid in full. Homeowner refused to complete payment and therefore we have been at a standstill since June/July 2018. Have we pasted the deadline to file a Mechanic's lien in the state of Texas?

1 reply

Apr 3, 2019
I'm sorry to hear about the payment trouble you've been facing. In Texas, the deadline to file a mechanics lien is strict. For Texas residential projects, this deadline will be the 15th day of the 3rd month following the month when the lien claimant last furnished labor and/or materials. When this deadline comes and goes, generally, lien claimants aren't able to file a lien claim for payments owed and unpaid. However, that doesn't mean that payment can't be recovered. For one, the warning or threat of a lien claim can still be effective, regardless of whether a claimant can or will ultimately file the claim. By sending a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien, construction businesses can show their customers that they're serious about payment, and nonpayment won't be taken lightly. And, because mechanics liens are such a drastic and powerful remedy, many property owner's won't be willing to call the claimant's bluff. More on that idea here: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien? Further, there are always options for recovery outside of the mechanics lien process. For one, sending a payment demand letter that includes specific legal threats can often be effective. By sending a payment demand that notifies the owner that legal action (based on breach of contract, unjust enrichment, the Texas prompt payment laws, or some other remedy), a construction business can show that they're not going to go unpaid without first putting up a fight - sort of ike with a Notice of Intent to Lien. When sent via an attorney, payment demands tend to carry a little extra weight. Alternatively, a claimant can always explore sending a debt to collections, or actually taking legal action in small claims court or through traditional litigation. Of course, each option has its pros and cons, and coming to an agreement with a property owner for the release of payment without official legal action is generally preferable. For more information about pursuing an attorney demand letter, or for an in-depth analysis of potential options based on your circumstances, it would be helpful to consult a local construction or real estate attorney. They'll be able to review any relevant documentation and communication, and they can advise on how best to proceed. For more information about the Texas lien and notice rules, this resource should be valuable: Texas Lien & Notice Overview.
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