A mechanic’s lien is an excellent legal tool that helps contractors, sub-contractors, and all construction workers get what they’ve earned. But it’s not just a form you need to fill out and certify to make it valid, it’s actually a process which in some states can be confusing and complex. For more information on this legal tool, see this web source.
In Texas, the filing a lien procedure itself is not as complicated as what precedes it. You are entitled to mechanic’s lien if you:
– have signed a contract with a client who has not paid you
– have met all deadlines related to sending notices.
You don’t have to be a general contractor or hired by one of them. You have the right to use a mechanic lien even as a lower-tier party. All it takes is some kind of a contract with the client, as that will prove that you really worked on a project.
If filling out a mechanic’s lien is the path you have taken, you need some information. For starters, you need as much detail as possible about the project you were hired for and were not paid for. These details are found in the contract. The essential items are the amount of money owed to you and a detailed description of the work you’ve done.
Since your claim will go to the public record, you also need information about the property owner. It means that, in some way, you mark the client as non-payer, and that can affect their reputation, credit rating, etc. The more detailed you enter into your claim, the greater the chance that you will be paid.
Follow the Deadlines
Deadlines usually upset all those who decide to file a claim to get their money. There are quite a lot of them, but in principle, they will depend on what kind of project you did and in what capacity. You can opt for filing a mechanic’s lien through BICA and ease yourself.
The most important thing is to meet the deadlines that are important for sending notices. It’s kind of like a warning before you fill out a lien. In this way, you let your debtors know that they will bear the consequences if they don’t settle their debts.
General contractors are generally exempt from this obligation. But it won’t hurt to send a few warnings to the non-payer before filling out the lien. Those who should take care of meeting deadlines are subcontractors and those hired by the property owner (not by the contractor). They have an obligation to send 2nd or 3rd-month notices, depending on the project. If they skip these steps, they lose the right to collect their debt through a lien.
Go with Lien as Long as You Can
If the debtor doesn’t settle the debt within 30 days of receiving the notice, the next step is filing a lien. Most property owners generally take warnings seriously and pay contractors what they owe. But if you don’t get your money even after filing a claim, the only solution is to go to court.
After filling out a lien, it becomes obsolete after a year or two, depending on the project. It’s the deadline you have to enforce your claim, that is, to file a lawsuit against the debtor. As the trial process can be quite expensive, do your best to meet the deadlines for sending notices. Get the property owners to pay their debts before filing a lawsuit.
Lawyer Is Not a Must
Whenever you have a legal problem, you will probably contact a lawyer first. In case you’re a contractor (or work for them), the problem with non-payment or an unhappy client could happen. You could use some help, but hiring an attorney to file a lien is not required.
Instead, you need a reliable and reputable clerk. You can go online and check the local recording offices available in your area. Or, if you know that one of your colleagues had a similar problem and used the right to mechanic’s lien, ask them for advice and reference for a trustworthy recording office.
On the page below, see in which ways a mechanic lien’s work:
Meeting all the prerequisites is very important to preserve the right to lien in general. It’s of great importance to be informed and to study the Texas law regarding this matter. If necessary, hire a lawyer to help you collect your money through a lien.