Just as a home mortgage lender keeps an interest in a home in order to secure payment on the mortgage, the law provides a method for contractors and subcontractors to keep an interest, or a mechanic’s lien, in the property they build or improve in order to secure payment for their services and materials. If the owner of the property fails to pay the debt, the contractor or subcontractor may then enforce this lien by obtaining a court judgment ordering foreclosure and sale of the property to pay the debt. By following the procedures to perfect this lien, or to give notice to other creditors of the lien, a contractor or subcontractor may also have preference under the law in the event of foreclosure on the property by other creditors, or in bankruptcy.
Individuals seeking information on mechanic’s liens should contact a Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, or Austin real estate attorney to help guide them through the requirements of establishing this protection of their right to payment under the law.
The mechanic’s lien, also known as a materialmen’s lien, is defined as a lien on property that is made, repaired, or improved, in favor of the mechanic, artisan, or materialman who made, repaired, or improved that property. The lien is a protection drafted into the Texas Constitution and Chapter 53 of the Texas Property Code for the benefit of those who put labor and materials into property according to a contract with the owner of that property. The purpose, as the Texas Supreme Court explained, was to create a mechanism by which a person can secure payment for the labor and material he uses to make improvements to an owner’s property. See Lippencott v. York, 86 Tex. 276, 24 S.W. 275 (1893). These liens will have priority over some other creditors’ liens against the same property.