TEXAS CONSTRUCTION LAWYERS
Call (888) 368-2483
The Lien Guru was created by the construction lawyers at Lovein Ribman, P.C. as a free informational resource for the construction industry. The purpose of the website is to provide quick, easy to understand answers to the everyday legal questions that contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers encounter in regard to enforcing or withholding payment. If you are interested in learning more about your rights to enforce payment under Texas law, please click on any one of the three informational tabs titled “Learn How to Enforce Payment,” “Understand the Texas Lien Laws” or “Understand Pre-Lien and Lien Filing Deadlines.” If you are ready to take the next step, read below …
Has a contractor or supplier filed a lien against your property? Are you anticipating or already experiencing problems with obtaining permanent financing, refinancing, or selling the property. If so, you need a quick solution to what may become a very big problem. Obviously you could just pay off the lien holder or “bond around the lien.” However, you are likely disputing that the money (or a portion of it) is owed or are claiming that it is owed by someone else, like your general contractor or one of his subcontractors. Hence, paying the lien holder or filing a bond to indemnify the lien holder, are not preferred solutions! So what can you do? If you have not already, you need to retain a construction lawyer to analyze the lien documents and determine whether they were properly prepared and timely filed in accordance with the Texas Property Code. The Texas lien laws are strictly enforced by our courts and a failure to comply with these rules may result in an invalid lien. Even if the money is owed, if the lien laws were not followed, the lien may not be enforceable! Contractors, and surprisingly even lawyers who do not specialize in construction law misunderstand the lien laws all of the time and consequently file bad liens.
The most obvious lien defect is either a failure to timely serve the pre-lien notice letters or timely file the lien affidavit itself. However, there are a myriad of other pre-lien and post-lien requirements that if not properly followed, will result in an invalid lien. For example, the failure to serve the pre-lien notice letter by certified or registered mail; the failure to serve the pre-lien notice letter on the correct parties; the failure to include the correct property description in the lien affidavit; the failure to properly calculate the lien amount in the lien affidavit; or the failure to timely serve the lien affidavit on the proper parties after it has been filed with the county clerk. All of these are necessary requirements that are not commonly followed. Additionally, if the lien has been filed against a homesteaded residential property, then there are additional requirements that must be satisfied before a contractor even has a right to file a lien against your property. For example, there must be a written contract between the contractor and the property owner. If the property is owned by more than one person (like a husband and wife), then both must sign the contract before the work commences. Additionally, the contract must be filed with the county clerk’s office before or at the time the lien is filed. It is very difficult to perfect a lien against a homesteaded residential property. If a lien has been filed against your homesteaded property, it was probably not done correctly and is likely invalid! Last, even if the lien was properly perfected, if a lawsuit to foreclose on the lien is not filed within the statutory deadline, it will become invalid and should be released.
We are construction counselors and litigators! Meaning we have a comprehensive understanding of construction and how to enforce the laws enacted by this state that protect property owners from invalid liens. And we do it in every county throughout the entire state of Texas. If your property is located in Texas and a lien has been filed against it, we can assist in having it removed.
Additionally, we make working with a lawyer simple! Here is how it works: for no charge, we will analyze your specific situation and advise you on the next appropriate legal step. If you decide to retain us to assist you, we will gather the remaining project information from you via email exchange, telephone, and/or facsimile. There is no need to come to our offices unless you want to! From there, we will prepare, serve, and file any and all necessary documents and take all agreed upon steps to resolving your dispute. It’s that simple!
To initiate the process or to just inquire more about releasing a lien, please call or fill out and submit the Request Form below. You will receive a response from one of our construction attorneys within the hour.
TEXAS CONSTRUCTION LAWYERS
To Learn More, Fill Out this Simple Form or Call 888-368-2483
Ask for Robert M. Lovein