Dallas Lien Enforcement Lawyers
Aggressive Advocacy in Tarrant County and Throughout Texas
Contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers have several tools they can leverage to recover compensation when payment is inappropriately withheld. Mechanics liens allow construction professionals to effectively place a legal claim on a property until payment is facilitated. Property owners take liens extremely seriously, as they can confer serious legal, financial, and reputational consequences.
Our lien enforcement attorneys in Dallas can help you attach, perfect, and enforce construction-related liens, including mechanics liens. Through years of experience, we have developed a complete understanding of Texas’s rules and notification requirements for lien enforcement. No matter the complexity of your situation, we can provide tailored solutions that will work to recover what you are owed as efficiently as possible.
How Mechanics Liens Work in Texas
Perfecting and enforcing a mechanics lien is one of several ways you can assert your rights and secure payment as a contractor or subcontractor. Any construction worker hired to do work on a property has the right to file a mechanics lien against the property in the event of nonpayment. A mechanics lien is automatically “attached” when work is performed and released once payment has been facilitated.
When a property owner withholds compensation, the attachment of a lien is not typically enough to compel them to pay. You will need to record the lien with the appropriate county recorder office in order to “perfect” it. When a lien is perfected, it encumbers the property.
Property owners do not want liens encumbering their property. Liens are a matter of public record and cloud a property’s title, preventing the owner from conducting numerous types of real estate transactions.
In the state of Texas, you may need to provide preliminary notice to the property owner before moving to perfect a mechanics lien. You must also act quickly to file a lien when you have not been appropriately paid.
Prime contractors do not have to provide notice of their intentions to perfect a mechanics lien. For residential construction projects, prime contractors must file their lien by the 15th day of the 3rd month after the last month the contractors performed work or services. For non-residential construction projects, prime contractors must file liens by the 15th day of the 4th month after the last month they performed work.
Subcontractors are required to provide advance notice to property owners and prime contractors when they intend to perfect a mechanics lien. The exact requirements depend on whether the project is residential or non-residential as well as the subcontractor’s tier and relationship with the prime contractor. Once the necessary notifications have been delivered, the deadlines to perfect a mechanics lien for subcontractors are identical to those of prime contractors.
Accuracy is extremely important when perfecting a mechanics lien. Even simple mistakes can result in unnecessary complications and may even lead to a court throwing out your lien in future litigation. Our Dallas lien enforcement attorneys can guide you through the complex notification and perfecting process and ensure your paperwork is completed correctly.
Enforcing Mechanics Liens in Texas
Typically, the presence of an encumbering mechanics lien will be enough to incentivize a property owner to facilitate prompt payment. In some cases, however, additional disputes can keep you from recovering compensation after a mechanics lien has been perfected. When a property owner refuses to negotiate in good faith or does not have the funds to repay you, you may need to enforce the lien.
Enforcing a mechanics lien in Texas involves filing a foreclosure lawsuit. If successful, the encumbered property will be foreclosed and sold, and the claimant will collect on the amount owed through their mechanics lien.
Texas enforces time limits on when construction professionals can enforce mechanics liens. For non-residential construction projects, workers can pursue enforcement action for up to 1 year after the completion, termination, or abandonment of the encumbered project or 1 year after the last date on which the lien could be filed. For residential construction projects, workers can pursue enforcement action for up to 2 years after the completion, termination, or abandonment of the encumbered project or 2 years after the last date on which the lien could be filed.
Lien enforcement can be costly and time-consuming. This strategy should generally be pursued as a last resort, as you can often leverage a perfected mechanics lien to compel a property owner to pay without filing a lawsuit. Our lien enforcement lawyers in Dallas are aggressive litigators and can help you explore all of your options for recovering payment. Should lien enforcement become the only viable means of securing payment, our firm will do everything possible to deliver a favorable result in your case.
Roquemore Skierski PLLC is ready to assist you. We are available 24/7.