Everyone prefers a job to go smoothly and to get paid on time. But sometimes the work is complete, services and materials delivered, but you still have not received payment. So you may need to move to the next step in the collection process—filing a Mechanics Lien. Let’s look at the steps to file a Mechanics Lien in Texas.
Step 1: Determine if you are eligible to file a lien.
● Did you provide labor for a project?
● Did you furnish materials used on the project?
● Are you a design professional who provides services on the job?
● Did your company create specially fabricated materials for the job?
Step 2: If you’re eligible to file a Mechanics Lien in Texas, did you send all the required notices within the deadlines?
● Do you have a direct contract with the property owner? In that case, you are not required to send a pre-lien notice before you file a mechanics lien affidavit.
● Subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, and materials suppliers without a direct contract with the property owner must send a pre-lien notice letter before filing a mechanics lien affidavit.
● The dates and deadlines related to lien claims depend on the month and year you performed work at the job (not your invoice date). You must invoice commercial (non-residential) projects no later than the 15th day of the second month after you did the job. Use the helpful Tier 1 Subcontractor section in our Lien Requirements chart for easy reference on filing requirements.
Important: if you are a subcontractor working for another subcontractor instead of the general contractor, the filing deadlines are different. You are a Tier 2 or lower subcontractor, and you don’t have as long to file your notices and your liens. Refer to Tier 2 Lien Requirements for more information.
Step 3: Determine if the property is commercial or residential; if residential, is it a Homestead Property?
Step 4: You are ready to move to the following steps to file a lien when you’re sure the job qualifies and you have sent the needed documents on time.
First, gather information, including;
● The amount of the claim;
● Name and address of the property owner;
● Name and address of the original property owner; or the person who hired you.
● A description of the work you did or materials you provided; and
● The legal description of the property where you did the work.
● You need a list of the notices you’ve sent and the dates you sent them.
Step 5: Fill out the Texas Affidavit of Lien Form.
Once you have collected all the necessary information, you can move forward and use our Texas Easy Lien online system to complete your affidavit and move forward with online filing options.
Or, if the county where the property is located does not accept electronic filings yet, you can personally take the notarized documents to the county clerk’s office and pay the filing fees directly.
Both options require you to send copies of the documents to the property owner and, if it is the case, the general contractor to their last known mailing address via certified mail return receipt requested.
File a Mechanics Lien in Texas the Right Way
The first steps to file a mechanic’s lien in Texas can be complicated and time-consuming. One mistake can cause you to miss a critical filing deadline. You can read a quick review of the process on the Texas Bar website.
However, there is an alternative to doing it yourself or paying an attorney. Texas Easy Lien has developed an online system to walk you through the process by answering a few questions. Then, you provide the information, review, and approve the documents— notarize and file.