Are you in the midst of buying or selling real estate in Florida? Then you must prioritize conducting a comprehensive lien investigation. But what does it entail, and how can you go about performing a proper lien search in Florida?
Read on as our experts at Florida Lien Search give you a step-by-step guide to the whole process.
Step 1: Gather Information
Identifying the Property
Determine the exact property address or location you intend to investigate for potential liens.
Obtaining the Property’s Legal Description
Retrieve the legal description of the property, which includes detailed information such as lot numbers, block numbers, and subdivision names. You can find this description on the property deed or tax records.
Collecting Other Relevant Details
Obtain the full name of the property owner(s) or the entity that holds legal ownership. Additionally, gather relevant details, such as previous owners or associated addresses.
Step 2: Access Public Records
Access County Records
Visit the websites of the county clerk of court and the property appraiser to access the records.
Check State and Federal Tax Lien Records
To access information about any outstanding tax liens or assessments in Florida, you can visit either the Florida Department of State website or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Simply search for the property owner’s name or the property’s address on these websites to retrieve the relevant information you need.
Step 3: Review Documents
Analyze Property-Related Judgments
Search for any judgments, court orders, or bankruptcy filings that pertain to the property. These can reveal legal disputes or outstanding debts associated with the property.
Review Court Documents
Scrutinize relevant court documents, such as foreclosure records or active or pending lawsuits involving the property. This step helps identify disputes or claims concerning the property’s boundaries, easements, or other matters that could affect its ownership or value.
Step 4: Confirm Information
Carefully review the collected information to ensure its correctness. Check for any discrepancies or errors that may have been unintentionally recorded.
Return to the relevant databases or sources you consulted and conduct another search. This helps ensure you didn’t miss any vital information during the initial investigation.
Compare the information obtained from multiple sources to validate its consistency. Cross-referencing different databases and records adds more assurance regarding the property’s lien status.
Step 5: Review Title Insurance
Obtain and Examine Copies
Request copies of the current and previous title insurance policies from the seller or their representative. Carefully read them to understand their coverage and any limitations or exclusions mentioned.
Look For Exceptions
Pay close attention to any exceptions or exclusions mentioned in the title insurance policies. These exceptions could indicate potential liens or claims against the property.
Determine if there are any pending or previous claims against the property that may affect the property’s marketability or the transaction.
If any unclear or confusing aspects exist in the title insurance policies, consult a real estate attorney or a title insurance professional for guidance and clarification.
Step 6: Evaluate Results
Review the details provided in the lien search report thoroughly. Pay close attention to any existing liens, judgments, or encumbrances that may affect the property.
Identify Red Flags
Look for any indicators of potential problems or complications. This could include outstanding debts, unresolved disputes, or legal claims against the property. Determine if these issues could affect your ability to obtain financing, secure insurance, or sell the property.
Make Informed Decision
Based on the lien search results and your assessment of the information, decide whether to proceed with the real estate transaction. Consider consulting with legal professionals or advisors to gain additional insights and guidance.
Are you thinking of investing in real estate in Florida? Discover the power of a comprehensive lien search at Florida Lien Search. Ensure a smooth and secure property deal by accessing our expert services. Don’t wait; contact us to start your lien search and make informed decisions for a worry-free transaction.