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How do mechanic’s liens work?

Real estate improvements and construction projects often involve many moving parts. Sometimes, issues arise when one of the parties working on a Texas project never receives payment for work provided. In this situation, a subcontractor or supplier who never received payment may take out something called a mechanic’s lien against the property.

Per FindLaw, a mechanic’s lien is a legal claim against a home or other type of real estate property that gives the subcontractor or supplier a way to seek payments he or she never received for the work performed.

When a mechanic’s lien comes into play

Say a subcontractor performed installation work on a bathroom project but never received payment for doing so. In this case, the subcontractor could place a lien against the house to recover the missing money. The responsibility of paying the subcontractor then falls on the property owner.

How the mechanic’s lien works

Subcontractors or suppliers who never receive payment for work performed or supplies provided must give the homeowner notice about what they are doing or supplying within a certain timeframe. If that subcontractor never receives payment, the next step involves filing a “claim of mechanic’s lien.” This must take place in the county where the home is. The subcontractor then has a specific length of time to figure out a solution. If this does not occur, the subcontractor or supplier may decide to move forward with a lawsuit.

There are many important deadlines and guidelines with regard to the process of filing mechanic’s liens. Staying on top of these deadlines is critical for subcontractors and others looking to collect money owed to them.