Before you purchase any property, ensuring that it is free of lien is critical. One of the challenges is liens aren’t always identified upfront. If you purchase property that is under a lien, you’ll inherit it and be at the mercy of the lienholder. To avoid this, you need to work with an experienced real estate attorney who can ascertain that the asset in question is 100 percent lien-free.

To begin, let’s get our definitions set. The following post explains what a home lien is in detail:

What is a Home Lien?

So what exactly is a lien? It’s defined as a “legal document filed by a creditor (lender) in order to record its claim on the debtor’s (borrower’s) property.” Basically, a lien on a home is a mortgage because the bank can claim part-ownership of the house.

A second lien is another mortgage on top of the original lien. Have we lost you yet? A very common second lien is a home equity line of credit (HELOC). When taking out a HELOC, you are allowed to borrow up to a specified limit for the loan’s lifetime.  Read more at OnQFinancial…

Any property with a lien on it can be claimed by the lienholder. If it’s sold, the proceeds will be remitted to this individual or entity according to the amount owed.

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Apart from standard home liens, there are other types to look out for when you’re preparing to buy property. The following post looks at another variety:

HOA Super Lien — What is it and Why Should I Care?

In an HOA, owners who fail to pay assessments and other charges owed to the condo or homeowner’s association, will likely have a lien placed on the home by the association. A lien is a legal tool used to protect a creditor against default. When a home sells, the creditor with the lien must be satisfied using the proceeds of the sale. A mortgage is a common example of a lien. It’s not uncommon for a property to have more than one lien. State law determines the relative priority of the different liens. Priority is usually based on the recording date of the lien or, in the case of an association lien, as of the date that the association’s Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) was recorded. Read more at Go Gladly…

In the event that more than one lien is placed on a property, priority is given according to state law.Meek Law Firm South real estate closing attorney home closing real estate attorney deed preparation

If you find the perfect property but discover it has liens on it, all isn’t lost. They can be dealt with and removed through various means. The following post addresses your options:

How Is a Lien Removed?

Satisfy the debt – If the debt that gave rise to the lien in the first place is satisfied, the lien will be removed.

Obtain a court order – A court may order for a lien to be removed. A court will typically only remove a lien that was obtained through fraud, duress, or other unlawful means.

The property Is sold or destroyed – A lien can also be removed if the property the lien is attached to is sold or destroyed. However, the lien may follow the property to subsequent buyers, if they had reason to be aware of it. Fraudulently selling a piece of property to remove a lien will probably not succeed. Read more at Legal Match…

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Now that you have a better understanding of what liens are and how problematic they can be, you know that it’s important to work with a real estate attorney who can protect your interests. If you are in Charlotte, NC and need a real estate attorney you can trust, Meek Law Firm South is here for you. For a consultation, call attorney Jonathan Meek today at (980) 729-5662 or complete the contact form on our website and we’ll get in touch with you. We look forward to working with you.