Featured News 2014 Property Liens

Property Liens

There are many types of property liens as well as judgment liens that can involve your house. What does it mean to have a lien on a home? Keep reading to get an overview of what these different liens mean, and what you may able to do about one.

First of all, what's a property lien? This is a notice from a creditor that says you have an outstanding debt, and this notice usually goes into public records, such as in the county records office. So what does this mean for you if you have a lien on your house? Well, before you can sell or refinance, you need a clear title. If you have a lien, you don't have a clear title. You'll have to pay the creditor to get rid of the lien. If you have a lien on a house you're trying to sell, you might be able to push some of the sale proceeds toward the lien.

Or a creditor might foreclose on your lien to collect the debt, meaning your house could go into foreclosure. That's possible, but not typical. In order to go through a foreclosure sale, the creditor would have to pay the mortgage. Most creditors will simply collect the lien when you try to sell the house.

Here are some different types of property liens:

  • Judgment Liens: the result of a creditor winning a lawsuit against you.
  • Property Tax Liens: often the highest priority lien, even above a mortgage, this lien comes from falling behind on property taxes. The government has the option to sell your house, but you may have options in your state for saving your house or getting it back.
  • IRS Liens: this is from back taxes. There's a greater chance of getting this lien on your house if you're irregularly employed, self-employed, or are without employment (so wage garnishment isn't an option). This lien must be taken very, very seriously.
  • Child Support Liens: if you fall behind on child or spousal support, whoever is receiving the support could foreclose on this lien.
  • Mechanic's Liens: after a home improvement project, you need to pay the contractor, else they can put this lien on your house.
  • Family Law Real Property Liens: this is for California only, where a spouse can place a lien on their respective interest in marital property, thus using their interest as collateral for legal fees in a marital action.

As with any matter of real estate law, your own state's regulations will have a large part to play in which creditors can file a lien against you, and what your options are to counter this lien. If you need specific answers about your own case, be sure to reach a skilled real estate attorney in your area. You can find the legal professional you need on our site today!

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