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Property liens can occur through a number of ways to secure the property to guaranty payment of a debt. Whether you are facing property lien foreclosure, having problems getting a property lien released or if someone owes you a debt and you wish to secure it by filing for a property lien, the assistance of a property lien attorney is necessary.
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What are Property Liens?
Basically property liens give the right to retain the property until the owner of the property fulfills the payment of a lawful debt. A mortgage that is filed by the lender of money to purchase the property is the most general version of property liens. However, there are many ways that someone can obtain property liens on a piece of real property.
A property lien can occur by consent of the owner. For instance, when the owner mortgages the property to secure a debt or gives security interest in the property to lenders for things like purchasing vehicles, consolidating debt or to finance property improvements with their equity in the property.
Property liens can also occur in nonconsensual manner as allowed by statute or by common law. These property liens include tax liens, attorney's liens, mechanic's liens, judgment liens, maritime liens, and liens that are intended to rectify a public nuisance or hazard.
If you have been notified that a property lien has been filed against your property, consulting with a property lien attorney may clear up your questions about property liens and property lien foreclosure. On the same note, if you wish to file property liens to secure debt owed to you, a property lien attorney can also help you out.
Property Lien Foreclosure
Just because a property lien exists, that does not necessarily mean that you will experience a property lien foreclosure on the property; however, in many cases of non-consensual liens enforcement is ordered by the courts making it possible for a lien holder to foreclose on the property, sell it and obtain payment of the debt from the proceeds provided by the sale.
The lien holder of the first lien on the property, usually a consensual lien made to purchase the property, is usually the one to decide to foreclose on the property if the loan is not being paid. The IRS or the agency that handles property tax is also likely to start the foreclosure process if back taxes are out of hand. Other lien holders are less likely to attempt to force a sale because they hold junior property liens that they are likely to lose if the sale of the property doesn't produce enough funds to pay the taxes and the first lien holder's property lien. In such a case, their debt becomes unsecured, but they can still try to collect it. Just because a property lien goes away, that doesn't mean that the debt or the creditor's right to collect a debt goes away.
If you are facing property lien foreclosure, it is advisable that you retain a property lien attorney to work on your behalf. You do have rights in the case of a foreclosure and a property lien attorney can give the best advice of what you should do and from time to time, they can even stop the foreclosure giving you time to settle the debts and protect your property from property lien foreclosure. Don't assume that the person foreclosing knows what they are doing and that you just have to go along with it. There are many stages of foreclosure that are governed by law and a property lien attorney, in many cases, can stop a foreclosure in its tracks.
Filing of Property Liens
If someone owes you money and you have proper documentation to prove it, you can go to court to get a judgment. Once the judgment is filed, you can get a certified copy which will be used in filing a property lien against the property owned by the debtor.
The process of filing property liens can be quite confusing to a layman, so it is best to retain a property lien attorney to represent you in getting a judgment and filing a lien. In order for a lien to be effective, the proper documents and filing processes must be completed correctly.
Again, property liens do not assure that you will be paid for the debt anytime soon. It just makes it possible that you will get paid the amount of debt plus interest if the property is ever sold. Most times, a junior lien holder cannot force a sale and even when they can, priority liens will be paid first if in fact the property is sold.
Therefore, filing property liens should be used only as a last resort to collecting the money due to you after all other means of collection have been exhausted. There are other ways to collect a judgment, such as garnishing the debtor's paycheck, which a lawyer can advise you of.
Release of Property Liens
If you have property liens filed on your property, when the debt is paid, the lien holder should provide a property lien release which will have to be filed in with the county clerk to release the lien. Sometimes, this step is neglected and when the property owner decides to sell the property, the lien comes up stalling the sale.
Once you pay off a debt, be sure to get a certified copy of the lien release to be sure that the release is actually recorded so that the existence of property liens don't continue to haunt you after the matter has been resolved.
Property liens can be a headache, both for the property owner and the lien holder. Handling the documents to file a lien and to release a lien is just part of the process. Property lien foreclosures are even more complicated and confusing. Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, it is advisable to retain a property lien attorney to represent you through the process.