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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>We are a subcontractor and have an unpaid invoice for a construction company for a residential property here in Texas. This invoice is from 07/17/17. There have not been any notices or warnings filed. What can be done at this point?

We are a subcontractor and have an unpaid invoice for a construction company for a residential property here in Texas. This invoice is from 07/17/17. There have not been any notices or warnings filed. What can be done at this point?

TexasRecovery Options

We are a subcontractor and have an unpaid invoice for a construction company for a residential property here in Texas. This invoice is from 07/17/17. There have not been any notices or warnings filed. We have contacted for payment and they say another company is responsible for payment, and that company states that the other one is. At this point, no one is responding to requests for payment. What can be done at this point?

1 reply

Dec 28, 2018
That's a bit of a loaded question - but let's look at some options when payment isn't coming as planned on a Texas project! First, as mentioned above, subcontractors must provide monthly notices in order to preserve their right to file a mechanics lien. Without sending notices, a later-filed lien will be invalid and unenforceable. Further, the deadline to file a lien is strict - once the deadline comes and goes, the ability to file a valid lien, regardless of whether notices were sent, will not be present. You can learn more about the Texas lien and notice rules here: Texas Lien & Notice FAQs. I start with discussing mechanics liens because they are typically the most powerful tool that contractors, subs, and suppliers have for recovery. However, because they're such a powerful tool, the mere threat of a mechanics lien will often compel payment. This is true regardless of whether a mechanics lien will actually be filed (and regardless of whether a valid lien filing is even possible). Thus, many claimants find that sending a threat of lien such as a Notice of Intent to Lien can help to compel payment, even in a situation where a lien might not be the most appropriate route for recovery. You can learn more about a Notice of Intent to Lien here: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien? Of course, there are other options for recovery besides the mechanics lien process. For one, sending a demand letter threatening legal action could be effective. A letter stating that specific actions will be taken (such as an action for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, or under retainage or prompt payment laws, to name a few) if payment isn't made can be effective. This is especially true when such a demand is made through an attorney. If demands don't work, it may be time to look for a more official method of recovery - such as small claims court, litigation, or sending the debt to collections. Finally, it's worth noting that reaching out to a local construction attorney could help here - they will be able to review the specific circumstances and documentation and provide advice on how to proceed.
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