Why is there a lien against my property?

Dealing with a lien can be complicated and confusing; especially if you do not know where the lien came from.

Most often, you find out about a lien when you are trying to sell a piece of your property. As part of the process, a title company will look at the claims on your property, and see if there are any other claims on your property.

Here’s what you should know about resolving and removing a lien against your property.

What is a lien, and why does it matter?

A lien gives a debtor a legal claim to your property. Whether the debt is large or small, it can cause significant problems if you are trying to sell. Liens can come from debtors, such as:

  • Debt from remodeling or contractor work
  • Past due city utilities
  • Property tax debt

Unfortunately, you could go years without knowing that there is a lien on your property only to find out when it is time to sell or refinance. If you discover a lien against your property, you need to have it removed by resolving the issue with the debtor. In some cases, the problem is an administrative oversight where the lien was not cleared; in other cases, you may have a past due balance to resolve.

How do I find out about a lien?

If you are unsure about the status of your property, the best place to start is with your county assessor’s office. Depending on the information available for your county, you may be able to find out more information with a simple search.

You can also contact the company that holds the title to your property. They can look into the status of your title and tell you what liens are in place so that you can resolve them.