General Inquiries

Lien notices

  • 1.  Lien notices

    Posted 04-12-2019 11:01
    Hello,

    Would anyone be willing to share their exact lien notice process for non payment from customers/ Owner.

    Can you send lien notices out to GC's if work is on federal jobs?

    Thank you,

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    Christine Rivera
    Controller
    Via Technology, LLC
    San Antonio TX
    (210) 227-7726
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  • 2.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 04-13-2019 10:51
      |   view attached
    My company is a Commercial Mechanical Contractor in the North Dallas area. We do HVAC construction for public schools. When we get a contract we first perfect our lien by mailing requests for information and notice of retainage withheld. Mailing the retainage withheld notice is very important so you can file a notice of unpaid funds for retainage. Texas is real particular on the timing of mailing notices and the notices must be certified mailed. If the time restraints are not met, your claims will be invalid. I have attached a booklet that provides step by step instructions on how to perfect a lien, send lien notices, and filling an actual claim. We follow this booklet to the T. Even though you have federal contracts, I'm positive you can follow these processes for lien notices. The only difference is if your contracts are for public or private work. The law varies between the different types of projects.

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    Brandi Stefanski
    VP Secretary/Treasurer
    Welch HVAC, Inc.
    Lewisville TX
    (214) 222-8600
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    Attachment(s)



  • 3.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 04-13-2019 13:28
    That's great Brandi!

    Thank you.

    I see it's a "mechanic lien" does that apply only to those type of contractors? We are an IT Service / IT Cons that does installation - cables, security cameras etc...

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    Christine Rivera
    Controller
    Via Technology, LLC
    San Antonio TX
    (210) 227-7726
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  • 4.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 04-15-2019 09:38
    I would think it does. If you are subcontractor providing material and labor to improve the property, it would qualify.

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    Brandi Stefanski
    VP Secretary/Treasurer
    Welch HVAC, Inc.
    Lewisville TX
    (214) 222-8600
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 04-15-2019 12:01
    Brandi's lien booklet is very helpful. I would like to point out some important things that many contractors get wrong in Texas. Sending notices is a business decision. Unfortunately, it typically results in the owner stopping payment and things getting even slower as they try to determine what is happening before they make further payments.

    1. The lien and bond claim laws do not mention billing. You must go by the month the work is installed, and ignore completely the date you billed or didn't bill for the work. If the GC says you can't bill for a change order because it hasn't been approved then you will still include change orders in your notices. IGNORE THE BILLING DATE!!!
    2. To perfect a lien in Texas you must trap the funds in the owner's hand. That means that you must send your notice before the owner pays the GC for that work you sending the notice for. You could still file your lien and many owners do not know that they have this protection at first so it still may work for you. Texas law protects the owner from having to pay twice if they follow the requirements of the law.
    3. If you feel that there is definitely a problem with the project, feel free to send notices early. You do not have to wait until the 15th of the second or third month. You can send the notices at the end of the month and you can even send the second and third month notices together.
    4. On a private project, you should ask if there is a bond, but if you didn't and there was a bond that you didn't know about and therefore didn't make bond claims against, you can file a lien and it will automatically go against the bond. The owner of the project should file the bond with the county clerk where the project is located. Many county clerks, especially for the large counties, now have their documents in searchable online systems.
    5. Each notice should contain ALL the unpaid work up to the date of the notice. It just keeps accumulating. However, do not add administrative fees for having to send notices or anything that was not part of the project.

    As far as getting information up front, I think finding out about project financing is very important. It is best when a bank is funding part of the project. While we do have the problem with a bank not funding retainage and therefore the retainage not being protected under the Texas trust fund act, I do believe that having a bank keeps the owner more accountable.

    For any subcontractors in North Texas, we host at least one lien law seminar each year for only the cost of the facility, materials and lunch (typically $35 per person). If you would like to be added to the list then I will gladly make sure you are invited when we have the next one.​

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    Eric Lesch - President
    PCL Contract Bonding Agency
    1452 Hughes Rd, Grapevine, TX 76051
    (972) 459-4749
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  • 6.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 04-15-2019 12:28
    I would like to be added to the list. I'm actually going to a lien class at TECO in  Dallas next month. Hoping to learn more.

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    Brandi Stefanski
    VP Secretary/Treasurer
    Welch HVAC, Inc.
    Lewisville TX
    (214) 222-8600
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  • 7.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 04-16-2019 14:01
      |   view attached
    What is TECO?

    NACM is the association where I and a few of my co-workers have participated in lien and bond training.  In fact, they are holding a training in two days on the subject (and again next month).

    See attached screenshot for more info.  They hold monthly trainings in DFW and often make it to San Antonio/Houston/Austin/other cities in Texas.

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    Eric Dance CPA
    CFO
    Alliance Trucking LP
    Arlington TX
    (972) 445-1772
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  • 8.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 04-16-2019 15:53
    I believe she meant TEXO. It is a construction association in North Texas that is the merger of our local ABC and AGC chapters. Here is a link to their seminar in May. Also, in North Texas we have the American Subcontractors Association and Subcontractors Association of the Metroplex. As you can probably guess from their names, these two associations are subcontractor associations.

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    Eric Lesch
    Principal
    PCL Contract Bonding Agency
    Grapevine TX
    (972) 459-4749
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  • 9.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 04-16-2019 09:56

    Great Advice Eric.  The Lien Law Seminar he mentioned is definitely worth the time and expense even if you're traveling to attend.  They have a great  partnership with Lien Law Attorneys and they "know the laws" inside and out.  I've attended a couple times in the past.  Each time they offer updates to the laws in Texas.

     

    Sincerely,

    Carolyn Brister, CBA

    Controller

    Momentum Mechanical, Inc.

    2504 Gravel Dr.,  Fort Worth, TX  76118

    817-624-0024 Office     817-846-6476 Cell

    cbrister@momentummechanical.com

     






  • 10.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 04-16-2019 10:10
    Would love to Attend however, I don't think I can travel up to North Texas at this time.

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    Christine Rivera
    Controller
    Via Technology, LLC
    San Antonio TX
    (210) 227-7726
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  • 11.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 04-15-2019 15:39
    It definitely does apply to you Christine. I suppose there might be some services you provide that may not be. Installation of cables and security cameras is something you can lien for, but I'm not certain if security monitoring or IT support are.

    However, for Federal work, you will be making bond claims. The process for doing that is spelled out in the Miller Act. https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/miller_brochure.pdf
    Unlike Texas where the bond would cover all the tiers of subcontractors and suppliers, only one tier of supplier or up to two tiers directly under the GC can make claims on Miller Act bonds. You may work under an electrical contractor that is contracted directly with the GC which would make you second tier subcontractor. You would have the protection of the bond, however, your suppliers would be third tier and would not have the protection of the bond.

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    Eric Lesch
    Principal
    PCL Contract Bonding Agency
    Grapevine TX
    (972) 459-4749
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  • 12.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 04-16-2019 14:31
    Q: Can you send lien notices out to GC's if work is on federal jobs?

    A:  Yes, you can send notices out to general contractors on any type of job (i.e. federal, state, residential, commercial, etc).  There is a question of whether you are required to send the notices. "Lien notices," which are frequently called "preliminary notices" are often required. However, the requirement differs state-by-state and project-by-project. All federal projects are governed by the US Miller Act. "Notices" are not required on Miller Act / federal jobs. However, there may be a benefit to sending them, which is the response to your other question below...

    Resource / Article on this:  Is Preliminary Notice Required on Public Projects?

    Q: Would anyone be willing to share their exact lien notice process for non-payment from customers/ Owner.

    A: I've seen a lot of lien notice processes and policies in my day and they vary significantly from company-to-company. When I was practicing construction law and consulting directly with companies my general advice was to: (i) Always send preliminary notices, whether they are required or not; and (ii) After a pay app or invoice was open for >30/45 days, to send a "Notice of Intent to Lien."  Doing (i) will significantly reduce how often you have to do (ii), and being consistent with the one-two punch, you'll see substantial difference in your speed and certainty of payment.

    Resource / Article on this:
    - Example Preliminary Notice Policy
    - Why to send notices voluntarily 


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    Scott Wolfe J.D., Loyola College of Law
    CEO & Founder
    Levelset
    New Orleans LA
    (866) 720-5436
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  • 13.  RE: Lien notices

    Posted 05-06-2019 15:32
    Hi everyone,
    Along the same topic, CFMA will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 called, Mechanic's Lien Claims - Maximizing Leverage for Collection, presented by David Levine.  For more information, please check out this link Mechanic's Lien Claims - Maximizing Leverage for Collection

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    Susan Madden
    Manager, Education Dept.
    CFMA
    Princeton NJ
    (609) 452-8000
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