A mechanic’s lien is a useful tool in the construction business that ensures honest and good work always gets paid. Professionals in the construction industry can secure and collect the debt from materials or services rendered on a construction site with a mechanic’s lien. There is nothing worse than a person putting all of their time, effort and materials into a construction project to later find out the owner of a property is trying to skip out on payment.
A person who isn’t paid for their services during a construction project can be in real danger of losing out on future jobs because of the lack of funds to start a different job. If a person wants the best shot at getting paid, they must file a mechanic’s lien. This may be an intricate process for some people because Texas has a complex lien law with a strict deadline for notifications. It is vital for anyone who is dealing with non-payment from a property owner to talk to an experienced mechanic’s lien lawyer to explore their options.
Houston Mechanic’s Liens Lawyer
Don’t hesitate to contact the The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC regarding your lien claim today. Marco Gonzalez and his team of professional lawyers will place your needs as a client first from the moment you call them to discuss your legal options. There should be no reason why you are not paid for the hard work you have put in during a construction project.
Often times, a customer who must pay you for your services believes you are at their mercy, but that could not be further from the truth or the law. If you live in Harris County including Humble, Crosby, Jersey Village, Atascocita, Deer Park or any other of the surrounding areas contact The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC at (832) 530-4070 or fill out an online form for your free consultation.
Mechanic’s Liens Information Center
Mechanic’s Liens in Texas
A Mechanic’s lien, also known as a construction lien in Texas, is a powerful legal tool used by general contractors, architects, engineers, material suppliers and subcontractors to secure payment for any unpaid labor, materials or equipment provided to privately-owned property.
To start the lien process a person must properly file a claim with the County Clerk’s Office in the county where the property is located. The lien then will create an “encumbrance” or a burden on the property’s title. This will give notice to any potential buyers that a debt is owed. Lenders will not provide financing or refinancing on a property that has a lien against it. Owners will need to resolve any lien against their property before they can sell or refinance.
Benefits of Filing a Lien
Although not full proof, a lien creates an additional source to recover payment of a debt. A person must be able to prove they provided a mutually agreed upon service to the property owner. It is best to always agree upon the conditions of the work in writing before the project begins for the benefit of both parties. This way everyone is protected, and if a person is not paid for their services, they have a basis to file a mechanic’s lien against the property owner. If a person submits the claim in a timely manner then they will have the following additional rights and protections, according to Chapter 53 of the Texas Property Code:
- The right to Force the sale of the property by filing a lawsuit to foreclose on the lien
- The right to be paid directly by the property owner if the general contractor does not dispute the amount owed in writing
- The right to force the property owner to pay twice for the work
Starting the lean process can also benefit a person because it will give them leverage when negotiating with the property owner to resolve the debt. A person can also recover all reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if they win their lawsuit and foreclose on the lien.
Steps to filing a Mechanic’s Lien in Texas
It is always best for a person to assume they will not be paid for a job. Although it might not always happen, the risk is too high to leave to chance. This is why a person working on a construction project should begin the lien process the moment they agree to provide services. One of the most common mistakes made in the construction business is the assumption of payment. Filing a pre-lien notice and lien affidavits well before the deadline will merely inform the property owner of a debt that is owed for service. The following are the proper steps in filing a Mechanic’s lien:
A person who has not been paid must serve the property owner and the general contractor with a pre-lien notice. This will inform the property owner of your attempt to collect a debt. If a person was hired directly by the property owner or their agent, then it is not necessary to serve a pre-lien notice before filing a lien.
A person who has already served a pre-lien notice or is not required to must file a lien affidavit with the Harris County Clerk’s Office.
After the County Clerk’s office has approved the lien affidavit, you must serve the document to the property owner and the general contractor. It is best to send the lien affidavit with a demand letter.
A mechanic’s lien can be one of the best tools at the disposal of someone working in the construction business, but it must be done right, or a person may risk losing out on payment for the hard work they have done. One of the best ways to ensure the lien process goes as planned and there is a chance to recover the debt owed is to hire an experienced mechanic’s lien lawyer. An attorney can help ensure a person meets their deadlines and all possible legal avenues are explored.
Resources for Mechanic’s Liens in Harris County
Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector– This link provides answers to frequently asked questions including the process of a mechanic’s lien in Harris County. The information provided includes the address to send information, important dates and information needed to file a mechanic’s lien notice to the tax office.
Texas Property Code– This link provides information from the Texas Property Code on general provisions of a mechanic’s liens. The code provides information on definitions, what happens if there is only one original contractor and who is entitled to the lien after work is completed and no payment is made.
The The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC | Harris County Mechanic’s Lien Lawyer
Don’t hesitate to call The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC for any legal issues you have regarding your mechanic’s lien. The The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC will use their knowledge, experience and resources to work for you to ensure you know exactly how to get the money you earned for your hard work. There should be no reason your next project is put at risk because you lack the funds to start it.
If you do good work for someone and they don’t pay you for it, you have the right to seek compensation. If you live in Harris County including Houston, Cypress, Tomball Spring, Pasadena, La Porte or any other surrounding area contact The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC at (832) 530-4070 to get started on your legal journey of redemption.