The Mineral Lien: Part Three

The Mineral Lien: Part Three

You have perfected your mineral lien – now what?[1] Chapter 56 of the Texas Property Code outlines the steps to enforce a mineral lien:

A. Timing. The claimant must seek judicial enforcement of the lien “within two years after the last day a claimant may file the lien affidavit…or within one year after completion, termination, or abandonment of the work under the original contract under which the lien is claimed, whichever is later.”[2]

B. Procedure. Enforcement of a lien may be accomplished in one of three ways:[3]

  1. First and most typically, through a judgment of a court foreclosing the lien and ordering a sale of the property;[4]
  1. Second, via intervention;[5] and
  1. Third, through a cross-action.[6]

All of these methods of enforcing your lien involve going to court to have a lien enforced. The court will issue an order, ordering the mineral property to be sold in order to satisfy the debt. To avoid this, a mineral property owner served with notice of a subcontractor’s lien may satisfy that lien by withholding payment to the contractor.[7] This gives the property owner a way to satisfy the debt to a subcontractor without having to go to court.

In the case where a debt is satisfied, the lien should be released by the claimant according to the procedures outlined in Section 53.152 of the Texas Property Code. First, “not later than the 10th day after the date of receipt of a written request,” the claimant “shall…furnish to the requesting person a release of the indebtedness and any lien claimed, to the extent of the indebtedness paid.”[8] The release should be in a form that would allow it to be filed in the county where the property sits.[9]

Ideally, the debtor will turn over the property upon receipt of notice of a lien, but, in the case where that notice does not suffice to loose property from the grips of a debtor, a claimant may seek relief from the courts by following the procedure outlined above.

DISCLAIMER: The foregoing information is not legal advice. It is general in nature and not applicable to all situations. The reader should not rely on these general statements and should consult with knowledgeable persons before taking any actions.


[1] For more information on the nature of a mineral lien in Texas and how to perfect a mineral lien in Texas, read The Mineral Lien: Part One and The Mineral Lien: Part Two.

[2] Tex. Prop. Code § 53.158(a). See also Tex. Prop. Code § 56.041(a).

[3] Tex. Jur. Oil § 693.

[4] Tex. Prop. Code § 56.041.

[5] See Bethlehem Supply Corporation v. Wotola Royalty Corp., 140 Tex. 9, 165 S.W.2d 443 (1942).

[6] See Denny v. White House Lumber Co., 150 S.W.2d 296 (Tex. Civ. App. – Amarillo, 1941).

[7] Tex. Prop. Code § 56.043.

[8] Tex. Prop. Code § 53.152(a).

[9] Tex. Prop. Code § 53.152(b).

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