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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11907
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I am a computer programmer. I provided programming services

Customer Question

I am a computer programmer. I provided programming services to a major homebuilder in Texas. I have not recieved payment for March or April. Can I file a mechanics lien against one of thier properties?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Was your programming specifically in regards XXXXX XXXXX construction of a building, or was it for administrative (office) work?

ScottyMacEsq :

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response.

Customer:

The homebuilder was purchased by another homebuilder. The new homebuilding company contacted me to do work for them as well, helping them move the old homebuilding data to the new companies software. They use this software for accounting and purchasing. It is all used to purchase material for their homes but to pay the contractors used in building the homes.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you.

Customer:

I hope my response makes sense.

ScottyMacEsq :

It does. I understand that you design / program software for back office accounting, etc... rather than programming for property specific (i.e. home automation, etc...) Unfortunately, you would not qualify to file a mechanic's lien on the property.

ScottyMacEsq :

There are very specific factors to filing such a lien:

ScottyMacEsq :

Sec. 53.021. PERSONS ENTITLED TO LIEN.
(a) A person has a lien if:
(1) the person labors, specially fabricates material, or furnishes labor or materials for construction or repair in this state of:
(A) a house, building, or improvement;
(B) a levee or embankment to be erected for the reclamation of overflow land along a river or creek; or
(C) a railroad; and
(2) the person labors, specially fabricates the material, or furnishes the labor or materials under or by virtue of a contract with the owner or the owner's agent, trustee, receiver, contractor, or subcontractor.
(b) A person who specially fabricates material has a lien even if the material is not delivered.
(c) An architect, engineer, or surveyor who prepares a plan or plat under or by virtue of a written contract with the owner or the owner's agent, trustee, or receiver in connection with the actual or proposed design, construction, or repair of improvements on real property or the location of the boundaries of real property has a lien on the property.
(d) A person who provides labor, plant material, or other supplies for the installation of landscaping for a house, building, or improvement, including the construction of a retention pond, retaining wall, berm, irrigation system, fountain, or other similar installation, under or by virtue of a written contract with the owner or the owner's agent, contractor, subcontractor, trustee, or receiver has a lien on the property.
(e) A person who performs labor as part of, or who furnishes labor or materials for, the demolition of a structure on real property under or by virtue of a written contract with the owner of the property or the owner's agent, trustee, receiver, contractor, or subcontractor has a lien on the property.

ScottyMacEsq :

It has to be furnishing of materials or labor for a house, building, or improvement...

ScottyMacEsq :

It can also be architectural plans, engineering plans, etc...

Customer:

I was just reading my response, the last sentence should say.. the programs are used to purchase material AND to pay the contractors used in building the homes.

ScottyMacEsq :

But the key is that it is specific to a construction.

ScottyMacEsq :

Understood.

ScottyMacEsq :

Now you could go to court and get a judgment lien, that you could file against the properties.

ScottyMacEsq :

But a pre-judgment construction (i.e. mechanics) lien would not be an option in your case, I'm sorry to say.

ScottyMacEsq :

Now you could file a lien. Anyone can file a lien, but for it to not be a wrongful lien, it would have to fit within that definition above.

ScottyMacEsq :

And if you file a wrongful lien, there are damages starting at $10,000

Customer:

sorry I think I missed part of your response.

ScottyMacEsq :

What have you received?

ScottyMacEsq :

(of my response)

Customer:


ScottyMacEsq says:

11:25 AM



But a pre-judgment construction (i.e. mechanics) lien would not be an option in your case, I'm sorry to say.






11:26 AM



Now you could file a lien. Anyone can file a lien, but for it to not be a wrongful lien, it would have to fit within that definition above.






11:26 AM



And if you file a wrongful lien, there are damages starting at $10,000






<div class="JA_chatMsgAuthor"Customersays:


Customer:

was there something before this?

ScottyMacEsq :

That was all you received?

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes.

Customer:

yes

ScottyMacEsq :


It does. I understand that you design / program software for back office accounting, etc...rather than programming for property specific (i.e. home automation, etc...) Unfortunately, you would not qualify to file a mechanic's lien on the property.






11:23 AM



There are very specific factors to filing such a lien:






11:23 AM



Sec. 53.021. PERSONS ENTITLED TO LIEN.
(a) A person has a lien if:
(1) the person labors, specially fabricates material, or furnishes labor or materials for construction or repair in this state of:
(A) a house, building, or improvement;
(B) a levee or embankment to be erected for the reclamation of overflow land along a river or creek; or
(C) a railroad; and
(2) the person labors, specially fabricates the material, or furnishes the labor or materials under or by virtue of a contract with the owner or the owner's agent, trustee, receiver, contractor, or subcontractor.
(b) A person who specially fabricates material has a lien even if the material is not delivered.
(c) An architect, engineer, or surveyor who prepares a plan or plat under or by virtue of a written contract with the owner or the owner's agent, trustee, or receiver in connection with the actual or proposed design, construction, or repair of improvements on real property or the location of the boundaries of real property has a lien on the property.
(d) A person who provides labor, plant material, or other supplies for the installation of landscaping for a house, building, or improvement, including the construction of a retention pond, retaining wall, berm, irrigation system, fountain, or other similar installation, under or by virtue of a written contract with the owner or the owner's agent, contractor, subcontractor, trustee, or receiver has a lien on the property.
(e) A person who performs labor as part of, or who furnishes labor or materials for, the demolition of a structure on real property under or by virtue of a written contract with the owner of the property or the owner's agent, trustee, receiver, contractor, or subcontractor has a lien on the property.









It has to be furnishing of materials or labor for a house, building, or improvement...






11:24 AM



It can also be architectural plans, engineering plans, etc...






<div class="JA_chatMsgAuthor"Customersays:





But the key is that it is specific to a construction.














Now you could go to court and get a judgment lien, that you could file against the properties.



ScottyMacEsq :

Are you able to view that?

Customer:

ok give me just a few minutes to read through this. thanks

Customer:

ok that all made sense.. so my only recourse is a judgement lien?

ScottyMacEsq :

After filing a lawsuit and winning, yes (if they don't pay before).

ScottyMacEsq :

But you can also get a writ of execution, which would allow the sheriff to collect property and sell it at auction (again, after winning a lawsuit against them).

Customer:

well I may be out of luck, so far the amount owed is less than 10,000 (4600.00)

Customer:

it may not be worth trying to get a judgement since the amount outstanding is under the 10K amount

ScottyMacEsq :

You can sue in small claims court if that is the case, and is a much easier process than regular court.

Customer:

ok, and I would probably need an attorney?

ScottyMacEsq :

If you're in an LLP, LLC, PC, structure, yes. If you're a sole proprietor, no. You could represent yourself in small claims court, and that is much less formal than other courts of general jurisdiction (so you would not need an attorney)

Customer:

ok thank you Scotty, I appreciate your help. You have answered a lot of questions for me.

ScottyMacEsq :

My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

Customer:

will do Scotty.. have a great day.

ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11907
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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