What is a Mechanic’s Lien? Answers to 5 Commonly Asked Questions

Despite the name, this lien is not for auto mechanics. In fact, a mechanic’s lien helps hardworking people and companies in the construction business get paid.

A mechanic’s lien is a legal claim for unpaid labor, services, supplies, or materials specially fabricated for a particular project. After the lien is filed correctly, the owner can’t sell the property or refinance it until the debt is paid or the lien expires.

Understanding the details of a mechanic’s lien can be tricky so here are answers to some commonly asked questions.

1) Am I eligible to file a lien?

General contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, and laborers can typically file a mechanic’s lien when they aren’t paid. According to the Property Code, in Texas, design professionals such as architects, engineers, and surveyors can also file these liens.

Generally, liens are only available on private construction projects, such as residential, commercial, or industrial construction, including renovation, but not on public property projects.

2) Do I need an attorney to file a lien?

No, you don’t need to hire an attorney.

While the Texas lien laws are confusing, you can work through the steps yourself. Get all the paperwork filled out and notarized, and filed with the county clerk in the proper county. Access this helpful booklet, Texas Mechanic’s & Materialmen’s Liens: A Guide for Self-Employed Contractors and Construction Workers, which explains the basics.

You can choose to prepare your lien documents online with Texas Easy Lien. Answer a few questions related to the project, review,  approve, and pay. Then notarize and file, all online. Attorneys certified in Texas Construction Lien Laws draft all the legal documents.

3) What information do I need to file a lien?

Before you get started, collect this information:

The amount of the claim;

Name and mailing address of the property owner;

Name and mailing address of the original contactor or the person who hired you.

A description of the work you did or materials you provided that remains unpaid; and

The address of the project, although the legal description of the property where you did the work is preferred.

If you are a subcontractor, you need a list of the notices you’ve sent and the dates you sent them.

Sub-subcontractors will also need the name and mailing address of every subcontractor above them on the project. You need this information to prepare the pre-lien notice (s) and the mechanic’s lien affidavit.

4) How much are the filing fees to record a mechanic’s lien in Texas?

The cost to file a mechanic’s lien varies from county to county in Texas. For instance, in Travis County, the filing fee is $26 and includes 1 page. Each additional page costs $4. In Harris County, the filing fee for the first page is $18.

Be sure you file with the County Clerk in the county where the job is located.

 With Texas Easy Lien online filing services, you can now afford to file on even your smaller unpaid jobs. Our pricing ranges from $19 – $249, depending on the type of document you need.

5) Where do I go to file a mechanic’s lien?

Remember, you must file the lien in the county where the job is located.

Even if it is not the same county where your business is or where you live, you must file with the County Clerk in the county where the job site is located.

The only way to file electronically is through a registered provider like Texas Easy Lien. Otherwise, check at the correct County Clerk’s office for their hours and accepted forms of filing.

However, you can save time and be 100% sure you file your lien properly with our easy online filing services.

Get your mechanic’s lien documents in just 15 minutes