When a mechanic’s lien is filed against a property, it becomes a public record and represents a liability or legal risk for the property owner. So how long will the lien remain in place, and does a mechanic’s lien expire in Texas? Great questions, so let’s explore the answers.
Following are a few commonly asked questions that will help explain if and when a mechanics lien expires.
What does a mechanic’s lien mean for a property owner?
When someone that supplied construction labor or services to improve a property believes they did not receive total compensation for the work, they can file a mechanic’s lien (also known as a construction lien) to collect the money owed. A mechanic’s lien is a document that can be publicly filed with the official property records in the county where it’s located. This process typically applies to contractors, subcontractors, or material suppliers in the construction industry.
When a mechanic’s lien is publicly filed against a property, it makes it difficult for the owner to refinance or sell the property in question without resolving the lien. Moreover, the lien holder could even attempt to foreclose on the lien; that is, file a lawsuit to force the sale of the property to satisfy the debt.
Does a mechanic’s lien expire in Texas?
Once a mechanic’s lien is filed against a property, it will remain in place until it is “released”, which is a formal process. This is why mechanic’s liens are so effective in recovering lost or late wages. Mechanic’s liens only expire if the person who filed it does not file a lawsuit foreclose within the one year or two-year deadline, depending on whether it is a commercial or residential project.
Under Texas Construction Laws, the mechanic’s lien is one of the most effective tools available to contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers in the construction industry to protect against non-payment practices. Unfortunately, non-payment is all too common, which is why the mechanic’s lien process has precise guidelines and rules to follow to exercise correctly.
How is a mechanic’s lien removed?
Removing a mechanic’s lien from a property title is only possible with a mechanic’s lien release, which is a document that must be publicly filed to work. Alternatively, the owner could purchase and post a bond to remove the lien, but this is an expensive and cumbersome process. Often, when a property owner pays a contractor who has filed a mechanic’s lien against the owner’s property, they will include a lien release form with the payment.
It does not matter who actually files the lien release once it’s signed and notarized. However, it must be correct and filed with the same county property records office of the original lien affidavit. Once the form is officially filed, the lien is released.
Where can I get a lien release?
Suppose the property owner does not send a lien release form. In that case, it will be the lien claimant’s responsibility to obtain one and release the lien. Texas does not have a state-mandated mechanics lien release form. However, they are easy to find, such as the general lien release form available on www.texaseasylien.com.
You will need the following information to correctly fill out the lien release form:
- Property address (and/or legal property description)
- Name and company information of the entity that initially filed the mechanic’s lien
- County document number assigned to the mechanics lien previously filed with the property records
The mechanic’s lien process in Texas can be pretty complicated. Wondering if a mechanic’s lien expires in Texas is one of many common questions associated with the process. That’s why we have put together a comprehensive FAQ section to answer common Texas mechanic’s lien process questions, including the steps to file a Texas mechanics lien. We also have all the forms and tools you need to legally – and affordably – exercise your mechanic’s lien rights, including online notarizing, mailing, and filing services.