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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>The last item of several the contractor completed and billed for was before Mar 23. A lien was filed in TX about Aug 3. How to force a release?

The last item of several the contractor completed and billed for was before Mar 23. A lien was filed in TX about Aug 3. How to force a release?

TexasLien Releases

There were several contractors who worked to repair a clubhouse caused by Hurricane Harvey, at Woody Acres, a 324 site MHP. One of them claims I owe him money for several items on a contract, all completed before March 23, 2018, including "profit" and "overhead" . A lien was filed on August 3. My spreadsheet analysis shows he owes me about $43,000, and maybe another $153,000 for TWIA insurance reimbursement essentially blocked by the contractor. We need a referral to a Texas Attorney.

1 reply

Aug 31, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. First it's worth noting that, based on the timeline above, it's possible that the mechanics lien was filed beyond the deadline. Mechanics lien deadlines are strictly construed, so if that is the case, the lien may be invalid and making the case for its removal may become easier. The deadline to file a lien in Texas is the 15th day of the 4th month after the month in which the lien claimant last furnished labor or material to the project. That wording can get a little confusing, but zlien's Lien Deadline Calculator can help provide some clarity here. Of course, other factors - like nothing being owed to a claimant - can also render a lien invalid. Anyway, the Texas Property Code doesn't offer all that much help as to how to remove a filed mechanics lien. A first step might be to send a letter demanding the release of the lien. A letter that explicitly spells out why the filed lien is invalid and goes on to specify legal actions that may be taken if the lien is not removed can be really effective. This is especially true when the letter is sent through an attorney. If a claimant still refuses to remove their lien claim, filing a motion to remove the lien may become necessary. Of course, since this is a legal action, hiring an attorney would likely be necessary (and would certainly be advisable). zlien provides more information on how to remove a Texas lien in the second half of this article: How and When To Release A Texas Mechanics Lien. Finally, as for where to find the right Texas construction attorney, there are a number of online services that can help in this endeavor. Here are a few: Justia, Avvo, and Lawyers.com. Good luck!
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