How To Check Liens on Your Property

How To Check Liens on Your Property – If you’re preparing to put your house on the market, you might want to look into any liens that may be on the property. Most purchasers use a formal title check to ensure that a home they have entered into a contract to buy doesn’t have any unforeseen claims made against it in order to increase their chances of a smooth transaction. If this occurs, the closing may be postponed, and the deal may potentially fail.

How To Check Liens on Your Property

If you’re thinking about giving real estate to a family member or making a bequest, that’s another incentive to look into any liens on your property. You should check to see whether your property has any unrecognized liens in order to keep them from inheriting a troublesome scenario.

How To Check Liens on Your Property

What Is a Property Lien?

A property lien is a legal claim that another party has against your home. When you sell or refinance your real estate. The lienholder will be entitled to the proceeds before you do, which could prohibit you from receiving all of the proceeds.

Foreclosure may result from a property lien if the lienholder has the power to compel the sale of your assets in order to recoup the debt.

How To Check for Liens on a Property

Here are a few methods for finding liens against your house or other real estate you own:

Search Local Government Records

You can check for liens on your property with the assistance of your county assessor, county recorder, or local courthouse. You might be able to perform a search in person, send a request by mail, or search records online for a charge. When you are certain of what you’re looking for and have the time to conduct the search, it can make sense.

Check Your Credit Reports

Your credit reports may contain information from public records, such as liens, that have been submitted to credit bureaus. An example of a reportable item is a child support lien. Checking the public records area of each report doesn’t take much time, and reviewing your credit reports is free.

Use a Title Search Company

The most expensive, but frequently quickest and most complete, method of looking for property liens is working with a title search company. You won’t need to check official websites, call the government, get credit reports, drive to the county recorder’s office, or fret about missing something. Additionally, you’ll learn if the title to your property is encumbered by anything else.

Types of Liens on Property

One of these sorts of property liens may be placed against your home if you use it as security for a loan or if you fail to pay someone money you are legally required to:

  • Deed of trust or mortgage. It will have a mortgage lien if you have a loan that is secured by your house. You might have used the mortgage to purchase, refinance, or access the equity in your house. A deed of trust is another name for a mortgage in several areas.
  • Property tax liens. If you don’t pay your property taxes, the local taxing body will put a lien on your house.
  • IRS tax lien. If you are seriously behind on your taxes, the IRS will put a lien on your house and other assets.

Property tax lien

  • Property tax lien. If you owe money to your state government, it can place a lien on your property as well.
  • Medicaid liens. To recoup the expense of medical help it provided for a deceased person on their behalf, the state may file a lien against the deceased person’s real estate.
  • Judgment lien. A judgment lien could be placed against your house for a variety of reasons relating to losing a case, such as failing to pay your employees or keeping property that you were meant to surrender to your ex-spouse after the divorce.
  • Child support lien. This is an additional type of judgment lien. It might be submitted if other options, such as garnishing wages or taking tax refunds, are insufficient.
  • Contractor’s lien. If you don’t pay your roofer, electrician, or other expert who completes work on your property, you can end up with this kind of property lien, also known as a mechanic’s lien.
  • HOA liens. In the event that you own property that is part of a homeowner’s association and fail to make your payments, the HOA may file a lien against your house.

What Should You Do If There’s a Lien on Your Property?

  • You have a few alternatives when it comes to removing a lien from your real estate. You could:
  • Pay it back. If the lien is legitimate and you have the funds available, you can pay what you owe and remove the claim.
  • Contest it. If you go to court, you might be able to convince the judge to invalidate the lien.
  • Verify that you have paid it off. When a lien has been fulfilled, records may not always be updated. By providing a copy of the lien release, you might be able to make things clearer.
  • Make a claim on your title insurance. Do you have owner’s title insurance? Did you buy it when you bought your home? When applicable, submitting a claim may compel your title insurer to address the issue.
  • Wait for it to run out. Some real estate liens have a statute of limitations, which means that if you don’t pay them and the lienholder doesn’t renew them, they may become null and void.
  • To your life, hold on. If you don’t fulfill your responsibilities, certain liens, such as mortgages, may result in foreclosure. If you don’t try to sell or refinance your home, others might stick around eternally. When you pass away, though, your estate might be obligated to cover them.


Remember that a lien relates to the asset, not the owner of the asset. Due to this, a property owner may be released from a property lien when they sell the asset that the lien is attached to.

There are drawbacks to doing this step. The homeowner is entitled to the selling earnings, but they must first settle any debts owed to the lienholder. A homeowner can also have trouble selling any property that is subject to debt. A property where another party has a claim could not appeal to potential buyers.


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