Dallas Bar Association Guest Article: Protecting Owners Against Lien Affidavits

01/08/2014

A mechanic’s lien filed against an owner’s property can cause chaos for the owner. It may cloud title or put the owner in default of lender restrictions. There are two often overlooked provisions of the Texas Property Code to protect an owner from liens: (1) the “summary lien removal” procedure; and (2) the “bond around” payment bond.

Summary lien removal. When a lien claimant files suit to foreclose a lien, or an owner files suit to declare a lien invalid, the owner may file a motion with the court to remove the lien. Texas Property Code Section 53.160 sets out the procedure. A verified motion must state the legal and factual basis for objecting to the lien. There are 7 grounds on which the owner can object and have the lien removed, such as the lien claimant did not follow the form, filing or notice requirements relating to a lien affidavit. There are also grounds for removal relating to statutory retainage and homestead property.

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