Liens are claims against your property which are held by a third party. Liens or other violations like this can make it difficult or impossible to sell your property. But sometimes, you might not even be aware that you have a lien until you attempt to do as such.
How Can You Aquire a Lien or Other Violation?
The state of Florida stipulated in statutes 55.10 that anyone who properly files a lien can lawfully put one on your property. The person filing must file an affidavit (whether the lien is via a judgment, decree, or order) and this usually will only happen in the event that you are in debt to the filer.
However, in some instances, liens are automatically placed on your home. The only way to check for this is by utilizing a property lien search that lien search companies can provide. Before searching, you can ask yourself if you’ve run into any of the following problems which could result in a lien being filed on your property.
1. Trouble with Taxes
If you have failed to pay your real estate taxes, your county’s taxing authority could place a lien or other violation on your property. If this happens, the authority can then lawfully auction off the home to the highest bidder. However, you will be given a specific amount of time beforehand to pay off the debt, in which case the lien will be removed. If you fail to repay the taxes and the auction is held, then the property will be transferred to the bidder who purchases the tax deed. In cases like this, you will usually be given ample warning by your local tax authority so that you can attempt to pay the debt.
2. Creditor Actions
After filing the appropriate paperwork, a creditor can place a lien or other violation against your property. In cases like this, a judgment from a court is usually passed before the lien is placed. If the creditor in question is from your mortgage company, they may already have a lien on your home — meaning that if you default on payments, they can file a notice of lawsuit and serve you with a summons. As with the above, you will be given the chance to pay during the process; however, if no payment is received, the creditor can obtain a judgment and either order you to pay or auction off your home.
3. Legal Debt
If you have a significant accumulation of attorney fees, they might also be able to put a lien on your home. While this can mean various things depending on if you’re able to pay off the debt, it is in your best interest to work with your attorney to set up a plan to pay as soon as possible.
If you are concerned that a lien may have been placed against your property, consider utilizing a lien search to help you find clarification. In many cases, a lien can prevent you from being selling your property and it can even force you out of your property if you are unable to pay your debts.