There may be a lien on your house without you even realizing it. That’s right. Even if you have paid off your mortgage there may be claims against your property. In light of the fact there are so many opportunities to get tangled up in real estate problems of this sort, I thought it might make sense to go through this issue in detail. By the time you’ve finished reading this you’ll know how to find out if there is a lien on your house. I’ll also show you how to cure this problem.
What is a lien?
A lien is a claim against your property that backs up a debt that somebody says you have. If the debt isn’t paid, the debt holder has the right to enforce the lien in court. On the basis of the lien, they can sue you. If they win the suit they can seize your property. Ouch.
Who Can Put A Mortgage On Your Property?
Many different people can do this. If you get a mortgage against your property the bank that holds the mortgage puts a lien against your home to guarantee payment. But there are several other parties who can file a lien against your property. The Federal government can file a tax lien and so can local governments if you don’t pay your tax bills. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.
If you don’t pay contractors and subcontractors (or if they say you didn’t pay them) they can also file liens. Other creditors can also file liens depending on the state you live in. Some states put liens on your home if you don’t pay child support or alimony. There are lots of opportunities to find yourself with a lien. No fun.
How Do You Find out If There is a Lien against Your Home
There are several ways to do this. First, you can go to the courthouse and look it up. A simpler option is to ask a title company to prepare a report for you. It will cost you a little money but it will save you a great deal of time.
If you have a mortgage on your home, you can save time and money by simply calling the bank that is carrying your loan. They will tell you if there are any other liens on your home besides their own.
Is there a bogus “lien” against you? They can hurt even more than a lien against your property. A personal “lien” is hit against your credit report. Make sure your credit report doesn’t have any errors. The good news is that you can check your credit report for free without signing up for any “free trials” or using your credit card.
What Is The Effect Of Having A Lien On Your Property?
A lien on your home can be serious business. When there is a lien against your property it may be tough to sell, refinance or even rent your home depending on the State in which you live. The courts sometimes force the sale of your home in order to satisfy the debt if the claimant sues and wins.
That’s why it’s so important to check to see if there are any such encumbrances against your home.
Sometimes people slap liens on your property when they shouldn’t. One way you can find yourself in this rat hole is if your contractor takes your money but doesn’t pay the subcontractors. This happens more often than you think. And if it happens to you the subcontractors can put a lien (called a “mechanics lien”) on your property.
How to make sure contractors don’t sneak a lien on your home.
When you pay your contractor, demand a “Lien Waiver” from everyone – contractor and subcontractor alike. This document is a declaration that they have received full payment and that they don’t have a claim on your home. That said, there a number of other steps should take to “lien proof your home”. There also a number of other things you must do if someone does put place a lien on your property. I’ll be writing about both these topics soon.
Property liens are serious business. Don’t ignore them. If you have a bonafide debt held against you, pay it. If the lien is phony, get rid of it. Just don’t ignore the issue. It could be a very costly oversight.
Have you ever had a lien placed on your property by a Government body or contractor? What did you do about it
Carnivals I participated in:
mary swanson says
my niece is a con artist and a drug addict alcoholic. she got $300,000 in a divorce from my cousin. she has been a big/ BIG meth anphetamine user since very young. age 12 of 14 started. says she does not drink or take drugs anymore. lies. she ran into an old friend who did drugs last christmas and was doing meth with her. if she can pay for it or get it for free, she will still do drugs. she is a big pain pill addict also. my mother put my name on the house so that carol couldn’t get the house, but she has conned my mom who is illiterate and does not know anything about anything, to make a living trust for her and take me out of it. she got my mom to kick me out of the house by telling her nothing but lies about me and sucking up to her. but when i came home my mom told me about it and was very upset. carol would not leave her alone about it and me. she called the lawyer and said to revoke it. my mom ripped up her copy and went to my niece and said for her to give her her copy. my niece yelled at her that she never had a copy. that the copy my mom had was the only copy. not true. carol called police on me for no reason and showed them the trust and power of attorney and i could not find the legal zoom one she made for me after. but the papers were never signed as we did not know how to do the paperwork so my mom decided to put me on the grant deed.carol got mom to sign another power of attorney for her but my mom says she would never put carol in charge. she says she is in charge of herself and if anyone it would be me. carol went through all of my moms money the 6 months i was gone. now she is on my moms bank account as poa. she has always been a thief and a problem child since 6 yrs old. i would catch her drinking out of my dads pony keg when she was 6. she started climbing out of her window at 10 and would steal unicef cans off the counters at the store and go around collecting in neighborhoods. collecting for carol is more like it. she would also tattoo herself with a needle tied to a pencil and squeeze out ink from a pen and rub it on the area. this was at 10. i could go on forever but nobody has this kind of time for me to tell you how she is. she wants the house. she went through her $300,000 in 2 years. we all called her and told her to buy herself a house and don’t spend the money. but she rented a party house with a pool. bought a pool table and paid for all the drugs and alcohol for everyone. since she did not buy herself a house she told my mom more lies to get into my house and started turning my mom against me before she even got her foot in the door. i realize now that way before the divorce and probably even way before that, that she was always working on my mom to give her the house. my mother is 98. carol put her on medical, which my mom said never to go on that as they come after the house. carol is being told that that is not true but my husband and i went to the medical office and they said, “oh yes we do”. i can’t get near my mother or help her as carol says, “what are you doing?” i would say i am fixing her pillows and she would hop up and come at me and tell me not to do that, that it was “her job”. she had to put my mom on medical to get paid by in home health care. i told the lady that my mother was not to be put on medical. i tried to tell the bank that she was not to get my mothers account and carols power of attorney paper is letting her do anything and everything to me to ruin me. she has always been mean and evil, i just never knew how bad. i have always tried to stay away from her because she is a nightmare. always yelling and fighting about anything and everything. i don’t know how to fight this. i have no money and i am going to be 60 this month and am living on social security which does not pay my bills or food. i have no clothes and can’t afford to buy any. i have not bought a shirt or pants or even a bra in over 20 years. and i lost all my clothes and shoes in a move and have never been able to replace them. while i was gone for 6 months she got rid of everything i had in the backyard in a tent. she knew i was coming over to replace a tarp which is what my mom said to do. carol has lost everything and she wanted me to lose everything also. so when i called to talk to my mom she would not let me talk to her and asked me what i wanted. i told her that i was coming over to put a new tarp on the tent. she said (very nastily) “TOO LATE!!! IT’S ALREADY GONE!!!) the evil you-know-what yelled at me. she has recently said to me, “WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU ARE GETTING THE HOUSE?” before mom put me on the title by doing a grant deed, we went to my cousins house and her sister was visiting from texas, my cousin recorded on her phone, mom, her sister, my cousin, and myself signing a paper i typed out on the computer and my mom saying to the camera that everything goes to me and me alone. and we all signed it. so i have that recording also besides the grant deed. carol is now getting paid to take care of my mom…if that’s what you want to call it. she would fight me if i tried to do anything to help me mom as soon as she moved in. she said that since my mom raised her, that the priest told her that she now needed to take care of my mom and give back. he did not tell her to file lies about me with social services, lies to the police, etc. and the bank. carol went through $4,000 of my moms money while i was gone and then she told my mom i took her money. i was the one stealing from her. this is how she turns my mom against me. but mom knows that carol is trying to take the house. i heard carol tell my mom when she first moved in that we should sell the house and move to texas by her mother (shirley) my moms other daughter, and ‘BUT WE WON’T TAKE MARY WITH US. MARY STAYS HERE!! she does not want me to kick her out but she wanted to leave me alone with nobody out in the street. EVIL!! she says she is going to fight me in court in civil service. i had no idea that this evil —– was doing all of this stuff behind my back. i do not know how to even fight it. when the in home lady came over to do the paperwork for carol to get paid, carol and i were fighting and the lady said she was not involved in whatever was going on between us. carol walked her out and i heard her tell the lady that she needed the money to fight me in court. she said that she wanted to reinstate her living trust and she said that she needed to get a car also. i came back home when the sergeant of the concord police dept called me and told me to come home and take care of my mom. that carol should not be doing it. this lady could tell what kind of person she was right off. carol was out driving in the early morning in her pajamas, did not even know she was driving and hit a few cars. then a week later she did it again and hit more cars. i remember her getting a letter saying that there was a lien against her for the cars. she says there is not, but i was there when she read the letter. carol will have me in the street if she gets her way, and she will probably lose the house. i can’t have her associated with the house at all. i saw one sentence online that said i could do something to protect my house from people putting a lien against it, but i could not find anymore about it.i think it said something about a homesteading law. or maybe that was something else. i thought maybe i could put my cousin’s son on the deed with me and maybe she would not be able to try to get the house. or put it in their name completely so she could not take me to civil court. she’s a good con artist and has been going behind my back for years as she has been here almost 10 years now. she has a mother with a $1,000,000 house in texas but no money. she has a father that has many properties and money but she hasn’t talked to him in 30, years. stupid reason, she hates her dad because he is friends with her ex husband. that is no reason to not talk to him. both my husband and i have told her to get in touch with him before he dies and she will inherit one of his houses and probably money also, and better than what i have as this house is 50 years old and needs alot of work. but she would rather screw me over than get anything from her own parents. but i am sure that she figures she will try to get this house away from me and and still might get something from both parents. she has always been greedy. she is a thief and has always stolen since a small child and still as an adult. she steals medications from safeway and clothes from goodwill, and was up for grand theft when she was young and working at a store called C. MARKUS HARDWARE. she had 2 dui’s also young and was caught with 4 or 5 other peoples driver’s licenses. she attacked me here in my house when she was drunk on brandy and on many many vicodin pills. she gets 150 pills a month and they are gone in 5 days. she will take 30 a day. she starts with 15 and keeps taking more until she passes out. after she attacked me i wanted to call the police and file it, but my mom said no, no police. so i did not call, but 3 to 4 hours after she called them on me and said i attacked her. the officer came in a talked to me and actually said to me that her could tell she was on something or coming off of something. i have heard her tell authorities that i am crazy. SHE IS THE CRAZY ONE! i don’t know what to do to clear my name and i don’t want to start anything with her right now cause i don’t want her to start doing more to me than she already has.but i think she just got back pay from december from in home health care and that could be $6,000 or more. i do not know how much she will be getting. my mom told her that she had to pay rent and carol would only pay $225 plus 1/3 of bills, but she never pays because she was always “BORROWING MONEY” from my mom and never paying it back. plus i heard her telling my mom in february that she was not paying rent because she needed to buy a car. she has always been a bad seed i could see it when i was 8 and she was 5. i was the only one who ever knew what she really was but nobody believed me. carol was never without meth for even a day. and she would buy big bags of it. she told me she finally admitted to her mother that she spent $2,200 a week on drugs. if carol admitted to that she was probably buying twice as much. how do you protect yourself against a con artist that came here purposely to steal my home because she spent her divorce money of $300,000 in 2 years? i told her that she should not even be here. she had all that money and did not buy herself a house.” she looked at me with an evil smile and said,”sucks for you doesn’t it, sucks for you” pointing both hands fingers at me and laughing. i knew what she was saying. she was saying that she enjoyed her money and is stilll gonna get a house…mine. PLEASE!!! tell me what i can do. i am disabled, desperate and broke and will be out in the street even if she gets part of the house. she will turn this house into a drug and alcohol party house just like the last place she rented. my mom said that she would never let carol do this in our house. but i still see carol drinking. i said to her recently, “i thought you quit drinking?” she laughed and told me she has always been drinking and i can’t stop her. god help me…what do i do?
Janine Murphy says
My husband I live in my fathers house. Neither of our names is on the title to the house. Child enforcement just put a lein on the house we do not own. Can my father be held accountable for back child enforcement.
Neal Frankle, CFP ® says
What does your attorney say about this?
Long @ Budget For Wealth says
I’m looking into county property auctions. When a bidder wins an auction on a property that has a tax lien on it, does the sale price satisfy the lien? Or is the lien paid for by the bidder separately after winning the auction?
Neal Frankle says
The idea is that the the country takes the property and auctions it off, it satisfies the debt. But I’d check if I were you at your local county.