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Mechanic’s Liens

The Mechanics’ Lien law provides special protection to contractors, subcontractors, laborers and suppliers who furnish labor or materials to repair, remodel or build your home.

If any of these people are not paid for the services or materials they have provided, your home may be subject to a mechanics’ lien and eventual sale in a legal proceeding to enforce the lien. This result can occur even when the homeowner has made full payment for the work of improvement.

The mechanics’ lien is a right that a state gives to workers and suppliers to record a lien and ensure payment. This lien may be recorded where the property owner has paid the contractor in full and the contractor then fails to pay the subcontractors, suppliers, or laborers. Thus, in the worst case, a homeowner may actually end up paying twice for the same work.

The theory is that the value of the property upon which the labor or materials have been bestowed has been increased by virtue of these efforts and the homeowner who has reaped this benefit is required in return to act as the ultimate guarantor of full payment to the persons responsible for this increase in value. In practice, a homeowner faced with a valid mechanics’ lien may be compelled to pay the lien claimant and then pursue conventional legal remedies against the contractor or subcontractor who initially failed to pay the lien claimant but who himself was paid by the homeowner. Another justification for this result relates to the relative financial strengths of the parties to a work of improvement. The law views the property owner as being in a better situation to absorb the financial setback occasioned by having to pay the amount of a valid mechanics’ lien, as opposed to a laborer or material man who is viewed as being less able to absorb the financial burdens occasioned by not being paid for services or materials provided in connection with a work of improvement.

The best protection against these claims is for the homeowner to employ reputable firms with sufficient experience and capital and/or require completion and payment bonding of the construction work. The issuance of checks payable jointly to the contractor, material men and suppliers is another protective measure, as is the careful disbursement of funds in phases based upon the percentage of completion of the project at a given point in the construction process. The protection offered by mechanics’ lien releases can also be helpful.

Even if a mechanics’ lien is recorded against your property you may be able to resolve the problem without further payment to the lien claimant. This possibility exists where the proper procedure for establishing the lien was not followed. While it is true that persons who have provided labor, services, or materials to a job site may record mechanics’ liens, each is required to strictly adhere to a well-established procedure in order to create a valid mechanics’ lien.

Needless to say, this is one area of the law that is very complex, thus it may be worthwhile to consult an attorney if you become aware that a mechanics’ lien has been recorded against your property. In the event you discover that a lien has been recorded but no effort has been made to enforce the lien, a title company may decide to ignore the lien. However, be prepared to be presented with a positive plan to eliminate the title problems created by this type of lien. This may be accomplished by means of a recorded mechanics’ lien release from the person who created the lien, or other measures acceptable to the title company.

As in all areas of the real estate field, the best advice is to investigate the quality, integrity, and business reputation of the firm with whom you are dealing. Once you are satisfied you are dealing with a reputable company and before you begin your construction project, discuss your concerns about possible mechanics’ lien problems and work out, in advance, a method of ensuring that they will not occur.

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Pat A. Tracy McKnight Real Estate is the best!  Tracy did everything that came up to make my deal go through.  We had several problems to solve and Tracy was always available to make suggestions and help solve all of them.  The house needed some repair and Tracy obtained several bids for the best price.  The contractor backed out so Tracy found someone else.  Then we had an easement problem which I solved with Tracy's help.  He was always courteous and willing to help.  He is the best.  500 N Maine Street, Gladewater, TX 75647

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J. Garner,  I can not say enough good things about Tracy and Darrell.  They showed my property numerous times over the 3 year period it took to sell my property.  They ran ads in numerous papers in East Texas, including the Dallas Morning News and other papers.  They were very nice and kept me informed all the time. 

When you and your family decide to buy a house, my family strongly recommends Tracy McKnight.  You will never find anyone who is as patient and friendly.  Tracy will treat you as family.  We have had nothing but fun in the home buying process while working with Tracy McKnight.  He is truly a genuine person and will do everything possible to make the experience of home buying great! A and J Hernandez

Pat A. Tracy McKnight Real Estate is the best!  Tracy did everything that came up to make my deal go through.  We had several problems to solve and Tracy was always available to make suggestions and help solve all of them.  The house needed some repair and Tracy obtained several bids for the best price.  The contractor backed out so Tracy found someone else.  Then we had an easement problem which I solved with Tracy's help.  He was always courteous and willing to help.  He is the best.  500 N Maine Street, Gladewater, TX 75647

 

JOHN AND MARY JANE S. - "We would like to express our appreciation for Mr. McKnight helping us find our house in a great location in Longview, Tx. Being out of town he was so helpful keeping us informed as to what was available.  When we would come here he was always available to show us the houses.  We are glad to recommend Mr. McKnight to anyone planning to buy or sell their house." 

 E. and M. Stephenson "I can honestly say that Tracy McKnight Realty was above and beyond my expectations on sales and service.  Everything was done in a non-pressure attitude.  He never tried to push anything down our throats and was more than willing to show us several homes.  He even went the extra mile and helped us with inspectors and etc.  After the sale was complete he checked back with us to make sure everything was okay.  During the transaction period he made several trips to our shop in order for us to sign documents.  Courtesy, dignity, and honesty is my opinion of McKnight Realty.  They make you feel like you're the only customer when dealing with your business.  They seem like part of our extended family.  Would and will do all my realty business.  Also would refer anybody else to them."

Randall and Michele D. - "Tracy went above and beyond for us as we were looking to sell out house.  Once sold he then went above and beyond helping us buy a house.  A lot of late texts.  He always answered any questions.  We will definitely use Tracy again if we ever sell or buy another house. "

This is to express our heartfelt appreciation for your helpfulness, efficiency, and cooperation during the purchase of our new home.  Throughout the process you constantly kept us informed of all developments.  It was a pleasure to do business with you, and I happily recommend you to anyone seeking a real estate agent.       Cheers,  Bill and Wendy

Thanks for everything you did for Deb and I.  After losing my easement, you stood by me.  Thanks again Tracy.  Phil and Deb R. 

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