Can a lien be placed on your property without you knowing? Yes, it happens. Sometimes a court decision or settlement results in a lien being placed on a property, and for some reason the owner doesn’t know about it– initially.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with liens, know this: liens are something creditors attach to a property title that says, “You owe us money. We want it back.” Until you pay off the debt, the title won’t clear which means the property can’t be properly refinanced or sold.
Oftentimes, a creditor will utilize a lawsuit to “win their case” against a debtor. The court gives the creditor a “certificate of judgment,” which can then be given to a land records office in the county where the property is located. Interestingly, when this happens, you– the property owner– may or may not be formally given notice about this! Therefore, a lien is on your property and you’ll only end up finding out when you go to refinance or sell your house.
Liens are used for creditors to get what’s owed to them. They typically want money. In some cases, though, they may go as far as trying to foreclose on your property.
When a buyer buys a property they get the title. They want a clear title. The title is only clear if the lien has been paid off before the sale. So, obviously, most buyers want the seller to pay off their debts– they don’t want to assume someone else’s debt(s)!
Since most liens are public records, you can check to see if there are any on your property right now. A visit to the local city or county recordings office is in order– they should have the information you’re seeking.
Can you fight a creditor putting a lien on your property? Yes! Make sure you keep a record of everything involved in your dealings with them, including letters, phone messages, emails and more. It’s always good to be vigilant about such things. Better yet, do your best to pay off all your bills on time so you don’t have any creditors trying to make your life more stressful.
Need help with a reliable lien search? Call 954-447-6947 today.