Property Liens In Florida
If you have been notified that a lien was placed on your home or property you likely want to know: what does this mean? Is this even valid? What are the next steps moving forward? Being notified of a lien on your property can be frightening and disorienting, but rest assured that the experienced Sarasota real estate litigation attorneys at Suncoast Civil Law are available to discuss the details of your own specific case and get you the guidance you need today.
There are several general concepts concerning property liens that anyone who owns property should be aware of. We discuss some of those items here.
What is a Property Lien?
A property lien is a formal, legal claim on an asset/property held by a creditor that allows the lienholder to obtain access to the property if a debt is not paid. If a property owner defaults on payments for their car, boat, or even their home: beware that such default could put you at risk of your creditors petitioning a court to grant them a lien over your property.
How Does a Property Lien Work?
A creditor can file for a property lien through a county records office or state agency. Depending on what the lien is filed for, it can be granted to enable repossession of real estate, cars, boats, or any other property on which the borrower has defaulted on payments to the creditor. The government can also initiate a tax lien, which is a claim by the government to the property of a taxpayer, which could include bank accounts. Pursuing a lien is generally the initial step taken by a creditor if they are trying to seize property.
Property Liens and Creditors and Property
Typically, a creditor will only pursue a lien as a last resort to collect on an unpaid debt. For example, a creditor may obtain a property lien if, for example, the home owner/mortgage holder of a house has missed several payments on the mortgage loan. The creditor, or the party who granted the mortgage, has retained rights to the property and can use that as collateral against the mortgage loan. Because of their rights in the loan it is quite possible for a creditor to obtain a property lien against a house if the mortgage has gone into default. The lien should be taken as indication that the creditor is taking steps to foreclose on that property. If the creditor has been granted a lien allowing them first priority to repossess the property and the debtor is still not able to pay, even if the debtor had previously made timely mortgage payments for years, the creditor has full rights to repossess the home in order to sell it and pay off the remaining debt.
What if this is an Invalid or Illegal Lien?
If an invalid, inaccurate or untruthful lien is being levied against your property, you need to file suit against the lien holder and prepare to enter into court proceedings to have the lien removed. It is imperative that you have an experienced attorney on your side who will fight for your rights to your property. The attorneys at Suncoast Civil Law know how to navigate these issues and are here to provide the support you need as you pursue removing any property lien.
Florida Liens Search | StateRecords.org