What Is a Property Lien? An Unpaid Debt That Could Trip Up Your Home Sale
Property liens are one of the most common conditions that can slow down a real estate transaction. So what exactly is a lien on a house? In general, it is a legal notice that’s put on file as the consequence of an unpaid debt. When creditors want you to know that you owe them, and they mean business, they may choose to take legal action by placing a lien on your biggest asset, your home.
A lien, or debt, can feel like a huge black spot on your record, but there’s no need to panic. In the real estate world, they’re much more common than most buyers and sellers realize. Read on for your must-know guide to resolving such claims and moving forward with the sale.
“A lien usually comes from either unpaid taxes, a judgment made in court, or from unpaid bills,” explains Jocelyn Nager, a lawyer who specializes in debt collection.
A claim filed against property could include missed mortgage payments or any payments owed to contractors for work done on the home. Payment to creditors for the lien will be required before a property can be purchased.