Need to make sure all paperwork has been filed properly.

7 months ago

Have a General Contractor and Sub Contractor not paying us on job Texas Gun Experience. I have been doing everything in my power to not lien the project. The deadline for the lien is in 6 days. Jan 15th. The GC said if we don’t agree to the $6500 that we can lien the job but she will bond around us and then send us the fees and back charge us. I need to know if we have our ducks in a row if we decide not to settle. We currently have this project in collections and invoices are back to June. We have to pay for the collections fee and we asked the GC to include the fees in with the agreement of settling for $6500.00. She asked for the invoice and we provided that for her but in my email I had the incorrect amount the bill was actually $975 I thought it was $796.73 Difference of $178.27. She got nasty and said since I gave her 2 different amounts she was only paying the $6500. It was an error on my part I thought the collections fee was based off of the write off amount but it actually is the amount that was settled. I have no issue eating the difference but the GC decided to not pay period accept the $6500 take it or leave it. I told her I was caught in the middle and I am trying my best not to lien the project. She then sent an email stating since I threaten to lien the project we had to accept the $6500 or she will bond around us and bill us the fees. She also said she is only liable for the last bill of Sept. $1923.75 because we were suppose to file the lien between Oct-Dec. Levelset says we are in date range and have 6 days. I basically need to know where we stand with the situation. I am new and feel like a fish out of water. Thank you!

Senior Legal Associate Levelset
439 reviews

First, it’s worth noting that it’s extremely common for a customer to challenge the claim and argue that there is some issue with the filed lien claim (regardless of whether there’s actually an issue). Further, it’s also common for customers to threaten that they’ll bond around the lien claim. But, as mentioned in the articles I linked above, a lien challenge doesn’t automatically mean there’s an issue a potential claim, and the threat to bond off a lien can be pretty hollow.

To be sure, the deadline for filing a Texas mechanics lien is based on the last date when the claimant provided labor or materials to the project site. And, for subcontractors working on non-residential projects, the deadline to file a lien will be the 15th day of the 4th month after the month during which labor or materials were last provided. That language can be confusing, but the deadline chart here can help: When is the deadline to file a Texas Mechanics Lien? What’s more, if you’re a Levelset user, then those deadlines will also appear in your account.

What happens when a lien is bonded off?

When a contractor bonds around a mechanics lien, that doesn’t mean the claim simply disappears. Rather, what happens is the lien claim is removed from the property title and essentially transferred to the bond instead so that the property title is no longer endangered by the lien. And, just like a claimant might end up having to enforce their lien claim via lawsuit, the bond claim may result in the claimant needing to file an enforcement suit against the bond in order to get paid on the claim.

Notably, a contractor bonding off a lien claim doesn’t necessarily or automatically mean the lien claimant has to pay for the contractor’s cost of bonding around the lien. If the contract between the claimant and the contractor requires the cost of bonding around liens be paid by the claimant, there may be some argument for that – but it still wouldn’t necessarily be cut and dry. However, if the contract doesn’t specifically require the claimant pay for the cost of bonding off the lien, then a contractor couldn’t just arbitrarily charge the claimant for the bond costs when the contractor, themselves, caused the claim to be filed.

Of course, in the event that a lien claimant brings their claim, the claim is bonded off, and it’s ultimately found that the claim was not, in fact, proper – then the claimant could likely be held liable for the costs of bonded off the lien.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
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