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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 34256
Experience:  12+ yrs. of legal experience.
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I am a Subcontractor in Texas and have not received payment

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I am a Subcontractor in Texas and have not received payment per contract from the General Contractor on a residential project. What form(s) do I need to file a lein on property owners residence?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

TX law requires a sub to send notice within a specific time AFTER completion of work. Can you tell me, did you send notice to the owner that you supplied materials or labor and are a potential creditor of the owner?

If not, how long ago did you complete your work?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Have not sent any notice to homeowner. Completed work on 10/7/13, invoiced General Contractor on 10/8/13- terms were payment due upon completion


You are still in the running then...

Under TX law, if you are a sub that contracts directly with the prime (so you have a written contract with the prime or general contractor) then you must file what is called a "3 month notice"

It is called a 3 month notice since it must be filed within 3 months of the completion of labor (or supply of materials). This notice must be sent to the owner. If you have not sent yet? That it he first step.

The purpose of this notice is to advises the owner to withhold the amount of your claim from the original contractor.

Then, AFTER you have filed the notice, you can next move on to file the lien...

Under TX law, to file for a lien one must first file an affidavit for a lien. You can see a template here

But you can not file this automatically...this is due (as provided in the TX statutes)

"on the 15th day of the month three months after the last month the claimant performs work." (it is 4 months if it is commercial property) completed in OCT? You will need to file the lien by 15 Jan (or 15 Feb if it was commercial property).

You file the lien form with the county clerk's office. AND you must also provide a copy to the prime and the owner (the law states within 5 days).

That is it. If you follow the above, you will have perfected your lien

Please let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can

P. Simmons and other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So first step is letter to the homeowner stating:

I have not received payment from General Contractor for work performed. Do I state amount? I am advising you to withhold payment to General Contractor. You can pay amount directly to me. If not a I will proceed to file a lien on your property?

Yes...that is accurate and you MUST state the amount you are owed.

The reason for this is to put the owner on notice so they can withhold funds. Basically, you are telling them "I am a sub, the prime owes me $__, and if they do not pay me, I am going to be required to place a lien on your property"

Often this will solve the problem (the owner will demand the prime to pay the sub.

If it does not solve the problem? Then you can file the lien.