Unless you work in real estate, you probably don’t know too much about liens. Sure, you’ve heard the term, but what is a lien, really?
Basically, a lien is a legal recorded claim against a property. The lien essentially “ties up” the property as a way to collect money owed. So, if a buyer wants to buy your property, but there’s a lien involved, that becomes a red flag. Someone is going to have to deal with the lien, right? The lien equals a debt to be paid. Liens aren’t good– they’re something “to be removed.”
What’s the most common type of lien? It involves a primary mortgage. If and when you take out a mortgage to finance a property, the bank has a lien on it. You need to pay your mortgage or else the bank ends up enforcing the lien, which could lead to foreclosure and the seizure of property if you don’t pay them!
What are some other types of liens? Well, if there’s a second mortgage and/or home equity lines of credit are involved, those are subject to liens. Does a property owner fail to pay his or her property taxes? If so, delinquent property taxes can turn into liens that have to be paid up. The IRS can impose a lien related to you not having paid school taxes, city/county taxes, federal taxes, etc.
If you have contractors come do work on your house but you don’t pay them like you’re supposed to– on time and in-full, then they can enact vendor contract liens to ultimately get their money. Contractors like plumbers and electricians can place a “mechanics lien” on a property in order to get paid properly.
What if you get sued and lose the lawsuit? Did you know that a judgment lien can be placed on any property you own and until you settle your debt your home is going to be caught up in that lien? Even something like credit card debt can be a lien, if and when the credit card company goes to court to try and get you to pay them. Furthermore, unpaid parking tickets can lead to a lien, as well as the failure to clean up garbage on your property or failure to fix a hazard…
If you need help conducting municipal lien searches, call Reliable Lien Search at 954-447-6947.