Can a mechanic take possession of your vehicle if it’s been on their lot for several months?


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My story is, I dropped my car off with a local body repair guy that I know fairly well. He works out of his home and works on several other vehicles besides my own. He is independent and although this is his main income, he doesn't do this out of a dedicated shop but out of his personal garage. He is very affordable and produces good quality which is why I choose him… except this time I believe I am paying for my choice to be cheap…

He needed a knee surgery and ended up suspending work on all vehicles on his lot for several weeks, including mine. He keeps giving dates but they keep getting pushed up for miscellaneous reasons. At first he was disabled due to his surgery, then afterward his compressor failed on him, then after that he started working on other vehicles, and after that record high temperatures severely reduced the time he could do paint work on the car… which is believable…but he always gives me dates then pushes them up when the date comes… and this has been going on for a long time… I would have taken it back a long time ago but the problem is there aren't any other shops with availability or aren't doing anything other than insurance claims around me.

Im alittle worried this guy may be trying to hold on to my car to claim it as abandoned. Does this sound possible?
Anything is possible. And, yes, you are now paying for going on the cheap.

Go get your car and stop being foolish.

Or you'll be back here in another two months and you still won't have your car.
They can file a storage (and if owed money for the repairs, a mechanics) lien and foreclose on the car if they follow the right procedures.
Mechanics Lien Basics in Texas

On residential projects, the deadline to file a Texas mechanics lien is the 15th day of the 3rd month after the month in which the claimant last provided labor or materials.

On non-residential projects, the lien filing deadline is the 15th day of the 4th month after the month in which they last furnished labor or materials to the project.

In Texas, an action to enforce the lien must be initiated within 1 year of the last date the claimant could file a lien.


The procedures and laws of applying mechanic lien vary from state to state. Here's how to do it in Texas:

Make sure you have a written contract with the car owner. The contract should state how much they owe you for your work.

Send a notice of mechanic's lien to the car owner by certified mail. This notice must include your name, address, car owner's name, description of work, amount of money the car owner owes you, work completed date, and a statement saying that the bill is not paid.

Get a hearing date from the court. You'll need to file a petition for a mechanic's lien and pay a filing fee.

Serve the car owner with the petition and notice of hearing. It can be done by certified mail, a constable, or a process server.

Attend the hearing. If the court grants your mechanic's lien, you'll be able to keep the car until you're paid.


Texas Overhauls Lien Laws by Enacting HB2237, Effective January 2022

Can A Mechanic Keep Your Car For Non Payment? [Lien]

For a touch of pedantry:

The mechanic already has possession of your car. You want to prevent further possession and, ultimately, a transfer of legal ownership.
How can I find out if a lien has been placed against it?

Also what do I do if he refuses to release it even if I am willing to pay for the labor?
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How can I find out if a lien has been placed against it?

Also what do I do if he refuses to release it even if I am willing to pay for the labor?

There are several websites that purport to assist people in determining if a mechanics lien exists against their motor vehicle.

For illustrative purposes, there is this one:

Proceed at your own risk, as I'm not endorsing it, just showing that such sites exist.

Mechanic Lien Search | Enter Any Name & View Lien Records Online

This the official TX DMV site:

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