How do I know if my house has a lien?

Purchasing your first property can be exciting and scary at the same time. You may think, “How do I know if my house has a lien?” since liens may prevent you from selling your property later on, and it takes a lot of money to fix the issue. No one may be available to teach you how to find out if a property has a lien, so it’s important to learn this know-how by yourself.

How Liens Work

A company or an individual files a financial claim in the form of liens. If this claim is in effect, then you won’t be able to sell your property if they don’t receive the payments allotted for them. Before you learn the answer to, “how do you find out if there is a lien on your property?” First you need to learn about the different liens. There are two types of liens you need to watch out for.

How Do I Know if my House Has a Lien
How Do I Know if my House Has a Lien

Types of a Property Lien

Voluntary Lien

If you agree on a lien like how you’d agree to a mortgage, then this is called a voluntary lien. A contract is involved, and it has no negative impact on your ability to convey title, nor on the property and its title.

Involuntary Lien

If there are unpaid obligations such as home improvements or tax bills, this is called an involuntary lien. Also called mechanic’s lien, this lien can prevent you from selling your property easily. The property will have lower chances of being sold since buyers are usually not willing to purchase properties without having the title cleared. It’s important to learn how to find liens on a property since the lender won’t approve the purchase of a prospective buyer.

How to Find Liens On a Property

“How do I know if my house has a lien?” Liens are on a public record, so you have three options on how to check for liens on a property.

Getting Help From a Title Company

The first and easiest option is to contact a title company where title representatives can help you. You can also consult them on how long it takes to clear a title.

Doing Online Search or Visiting Relevant Office

What about knowing how to check for liens on a property online? If you know the address of the property or its name, then it’s easy to check. Do a property lien search through the website of the office of the clerk, recorder, or assessor.

You can also visit the offices of the clerk, recorder, and assessor in person so you can be given pointers as well.

Property Lien Search
Property Lien Search

Removing a Fulfilled Lien

After learning how to look up a lien on a property, the next step is to find out how it can be removed. A voluntary lien has no negative impact on your title. If the loan of the seller is paid off, then the closing process will allow the lien to be released. You should know this aside from knowing what mortgage costs cover.

For involuntary liens such as IRS or tax liens, you get notified by government holders once the debt is cleared. Some lien holders may not be aware that it is their duty to remove liens. Knowing how to look up a lien on a property isn’t enough, as you also need to be aware of what needs to be done when you don’t get notified of lien removal.

What To Do with Lien Removal Delays

Contact the holders if you didn’t receive any within 30-60 days of clearing the debt. The lien releases need to be notarized by your bank so the county recorder’s office can accept them and process the removal of lien from your property.

These are the answers to “How do I know if my house has a lien?” A property lien search comes in handy before buying a property. Once you learn how to find out if a property has a lien, you can be at ease in buying a new house. While you’re at it, learn who pays for title insurance so you can also consider getting one.