In Florida, you need county lien letters before concluding real estate transactions. The letters contain information about code violations and zoning. However, there are other types of liens you will need before the closing process. You can find out more about different types of liens and their implications in this article.
Consequential Versus Non-Consequential Liens
Liens can be in two primary categories; consequential and non-consequential liens. An inconsequential or involuntary lien refers to those obligations like debt placed on your property. A voluntary lien, on the other hand, is prompted by a contract.
For example, if you take a mortgage for your asset, you agree to be part of the process. Involuntary liens are much harder to discharge when you are trying to sell the property. Most of the obligations are reflected in the county lien letters.
Property Tax Liens
A lien may also contain information about the property tax history of the asset you seek to buy. It is often enforced as security to ensure the payment of levies. For example, if you fail to pay taxes on the property, your lender will impose a tax lien.
Some jurisdictions may include several exemptions in the tax report. Exemptions in Florida may include owners with disabilities, military veterans, and seniors. A tax certificate is not always necessary for the closing process. But it can present a clearer picture of the status of the property.
Judgement Liens in Florida
A judgment lien in Florida is filed with the Florida Department of State. When a creditor sues the owner, they can place a lien after court rules in their favor.
In Florida, the validity of the judgment lien is five years. But state laws allow a creditor to extend the term for another five years. You may want to conduct a judgment search before you obtain county lien letters. That way, you can unearth all details about the property before closing.
Child Support Liens
If you fail to honor your child support obligations on time, a legal claim can be placed on your personal property. Typically, real estate and land are not subject to a child support lien. However, the owner may have been fraudulently using the property to avoid paying child support. In such instances, Florida courts may approve the legal claim.
Implications of Unrecorded Liens
Unrecorded liens can be any type of involuntary lien that is in the public record. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find them through a regular title search. The information is often spread out across multiple databases.
Unrecorded items may include outstanding utility bills, levies for code violations, and special property assessment fees. One of the most common violations is having weeds taller than 12 inches on the lawn. Because the details are across different records, it is essential to conduct a municipal lien search alongside a title search.
Real estate transactions can be complex and frustrating. A lien search can present the details about financial and legal claims on the property. Consider hiring an experienced service to acquire county lien letters for the closing process.