Lien on Me: What It Is and How to Remove It

Liens are common in the world of real estate, but they can be a little difficult to understand and even harder to remove. If you own a home and a lien has been placed on it, you need to understand what a lien is and how to remove it.

What Is a Lien?shutterstock_131088632

A lien is security interest placed on property, and there are two different types: contractual and judicial. A house mortgage is a common example of a contractual lien. With these types of liens you get a piece of property with the promise of future payments, such as mortgage payments. Judicial liens are court ordered. Basically, they occur when a judge transfers the right of someone’s property to someone else. For example, if you fail to pay your mortgage and the creditor takes legal action, the judge may give possession of the home to the creditor.

Can an HOA Put a Lien on Your Home?

If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, and you fail to pay your dues for an extended period of time, the HOA can, and may choose to, put a lien on your home. If you end up selling your home, or if your home goes into foreclosure, the lien will need to be repaid. In some states, HOA liens are the first lien, regardless of when they were placed. This means that they are paid before the mortgage company is paid.

How Can You Remove a Lien?

If you have a lien on your home, there are several ways you can get it removed. The first way to remove a lien is to simply pay the debt. Once all the money is repaid, the lien is removed. If the lien was placed unlawfully such as through fraud, you may be able to get a court order to remove it. If the property is sold or destroyed, the lien may be removed, but if you sell the property, the lien may follow the new buyers.

You may also be able to get the lien removed if the lien holder demands more than is owed, but the demand must be made in bad faith. If the lien holder has reasonable proof that they are owed the excess sum, it is considered good faith, and the lien cannot be removed. Last, a lien can be removed if the property is sold or given to the lien-holder.

It may take years to get a valid lien removed, but if the lien is fraudulent or in bad faith, it may simply take a court order to get rid of it.

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