Oil drilling during sunset in Texas

When Do I Need to File a Lawsuit to Foreclose on a Mineral Lien?

After you’ve filed a mineral lien, there will come a time when you need to foreclose on that lien. But how do you know when the time is right? And how do you decide if foreclosure is best or if you should negotiate with the property owner or contractor?

When to Foreclose Your Mineral Lien Vs. Negotiate Your Lien

Sometimes, you can avoid foreclosing on a mineral lien if you can negotiate payment terms with the property owner and/or contractor. Hiring a skilled lawyer can help you negotiate payment and terms to avoid foreclosure if possible. Texas has state-specific mineral lien laws and property codes. They state who can open a lien, as well as what the lien attaches to; either property, equipment, wells, pipelines, or all of the above.

If you’ve attempted to negotiate or have chosen not to, you can instead decide to file a lawsuit requesting foreclose of the lien to enforce the lien. We recommend that you speak to your attorney about what is best in your situation before deciding whether to negotiate or file to foreclose on your lien.

How to Foreclose on a Mineral Lien

If you and your attorney decide that filing a lawsuit to foreclose your lien is best, then according to Tex. Prop. Code § 53.158:

“Suit to foreclose the lien must be brought (1) within two years after the last day a lien claimant may file its lien affidavit or (2) within one year after completion, termination, or abandonment of the work under the original contract under which the lien is claimed, whichever is later. If suit is not filed within this time, the lien is automatically discharged by operation of law. Tex. Prop. Code § 53.157.”

Choosing to foreclose on your lien requires a notice beforehand. Documents are required to be filed within six months after services are provided. Timely filing of such documentation is mandatory. But if done properly by working with an experienced attorney, you can protect yourself and increase the chances of recovering past-due bills for your labor and materials. Filing for foreclosure may require the property owner or contractor to sell their assets to pay you the compensation you deserve.

If you have mineral lien questions, please do not hesitate to contact The Stuart Firm at (432) 284-4411. We offer free consultations, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you. We offer aggressive and passionate representation, and we’re ready to help you today.