The first step in protecting your unpaid invoices is to determine whether the Property is owned by a Public Entity, a privately held company, or an individual. The process that you will follow to enforce your claim is different depending upon the answer to this question. You cannot file a Lien against a Property owned by a Public Entity, like the state, a county, municipality, or a city. Some examples of government owned Properties include public schools, libraries, highways, parks, and government buildings. As a substitute to a Mechanics Lien, the State of Texas requires the General Contractor to purchase a Payment Bond from a reputable Surety (insurance company) wherein the prime contract (the contract between the Public Entity and the General Contractor) is over $25,000.00. If you provided labor/materials to a publicly owned Project and have not been paid, then your first step is to make a claim against the Payment Bond. See the “Payment Bond Claim Library” to learn how to enforce payment on a Pubic Project. On all other Projects, those that are owned by private individuals or private business entities, you can file a Lien against the Property to secure payment of the debt. Some examples of privately owned Properties include private homes, apartment complexes, office buildings, shopping centers, restaurants and leased commercial properties.