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. Please click on any one of the three informational tabs titled “Learn How To Enforce Payment,” “Understand the Texas Lien Laws” or “Understand the Pre-Lien and Lien Filing Deadlines” if you are interested in learning more about your rights to enforce payment under Texas law. If you are ready to take the next step, read below …
If you were hired by anyone other than the Property Owner, then you must serve a Pre-Lien Notice (also known as an “Intent to Lien”) before you can file a Lien against the Property. In contrast, those hired by the Property Owner are not required to serve any preliminary Notices before filing a Lien. Click here to File a Lien. On Commercial Properties, anyone hired by the Project General Contractor must serve a Pre-Lien Notice by the 15th day of the third month, from each and every month that they provide labor, materials, or services to the Project and have not been paid. Click here to learn more. In addition, if you were not hired by the Property Owner or the General Contractor, then you must also serve an additional Pre-Lien Notice by the 15th day of the second month from each and every month that you provided labor, materials, or services to the Property and have not been paid. On Residential Properties, only one Notice is required regardless of who hired you, but it must be sent by the 15th day of the second month from each and every month that you provide labor, materials, or services to the Project and have not been paid. Click here to learn more.
If you are among the group of contractors who must first send a Pre-Lien Notice before filing a Lien, don’t be discouraged. When done correctly, a Pre-Lien Notice is much more than just a statutory prerequisite to filing a Lien and instead can become a powerful tool toward enforcing payment, possibly without having to take the next step of filing a Lien.
For example, if a payment dispute exists at the time the Pre-Lien Notice is being served, then depending upon your specific circumstances we can prepare the Notice in the form of a strong Payment Demand Letter by including the following additional allegations: (1) an explanation as to how the non-paying contractor has breached your contract by failing to pay; (2) a representation that a Lien will be filed against the Property if payment is not immediately made; (3) a brief description and notice of any potential statutory violations as a result of the failure to pay, such as Property Code Chapter 28 (the “Prompt Payment Act”) which imposes an annual 18% interest penalty on unpaid construction debts, Property Code Chapter 162 (the “Trust Fund Statute”) which imposes both civil and criminal penalties for diverting construction funds from a Project, and Civil Practice and Remedies Code 38.001 (statutory right to recover attorneys’ fees and costs); (4) a demand for immediate payment; (5) a representation that a Lawsuit will be filed to foreclose on the Lien; and (6) if a Lawsuit is filed, that not only will we seek recovery of the principal amount owed, but also interest on that amount, all incurred attorneys’ fees, statutory penalties, and cost of court. Alternatively, if a payment dispute does not exist, then we can prepare and serve a noncontroversial Pre-Lien Notice with all of the required statutory language.
When you use a Construction Lawyer, the other side knows you are serious. All of our Documents are prepared by licensed Texas Construction Lawyers. All of our Documents are specifically tailored to your particular situation. We have a comprehensive understanding of construction and how to enforce the laws enacted by this state to protect you. That is what we do! And we do it in every county throughout the entire state of Texas every day. If you have provided labor, materials, equipment, or professional services to a construction Project in Texas and have not been paid, we can help regardless of where your office is located.
To initiate the process or to just inquire more about our pre-lien notice letters, 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.
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Ask for Robert M. Lovein