Dealing With Liens Against Property
A lien against property can throw the proverbial monkey wrench into any proposed or pending real estate deal. When there is a mechanic’s lien, a tax lien or some other encumbrance, it can frustrate the best-laid plans of either buyer or seller.
At the Law Offices of H. Michael Soroy, our experienced real estate law attorneys can help you remove the jammed wrench and move forward with your transaction. We invite you to contact us to discuss how to smooth the way toward accomplishing your goals. From our office in Los Angeles, we serve clients throughout Southern California.
Types of Liens That Can Hold Up Your Transaction
Liens against property that cause problems with the title can arise in several different settings. These include:
- Mechanic’s liens — Many property liens come in the context of construction projects. If a contractor or subcontractor doesn’t get paid, a mechanic’s lien may be filed against the property. Even if there is some doubt as to the validity of the underlying claim, the lien can cloud the title to the property, making it difficult to sell.
- Tax liens — When the owner of real property has tax debt, the IRS or a state revenue agency can file a claim against it. Though tax authorities do not need to obtain a formal judgment in order to levy on the property, taxpayers have certain rights — known as collection due process rights — that must be respected.
- Deeds of trust — When someone takes out a loan, the lender may receive a deed of trust to secure the loan. If there is a problem with repayment, this can turn into a lien against real property.
- Judgments — Even if a pending lawsuit has not resulted in a judgment, it can throw a cloud of uncertainty over a possible sale of property owned by the person facing the suit.
- Liens / abstracts of judgment
Many title defects that affect the sale of real estate involve liens such as these. They need to be resolved before the property can sell. If they are not, they become like a decaying tooth, eating away at the marketability of property.
Steps We Can Take to Clear the Way
Our lawyers know how to get at the core of the problem raised by a real estate lien and take proper steps to resolve it. For starters, we’ll get a copy of title report or abstract, to see what the lien or claim actually consists of.
Once we’ve diagnosed the problem, we can do what is necessary to solve it, working in conjunction with title or escrow companies as needed.
For example, if we find there was a forged deed, or other fraud in the chain of title, we may need to file a quiet title action. If there is an old debt, we can work to negotiate it down and get the title cleared. In some cases, it may make sense for someone to take the property subject to the lien.
Questionable title is like a wet blanket on the sale of property. We encourage you to contact our firm to discuss how to get it removed so you can move forward with your transaction. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, call 310-694-5527. If you prefer, you can complete our email intake form.