Can I Sell My House With a Lien on It?

“Lien” is a legal term describing a security interest against your property when you owe someone money. While there are such things as consensual liens, this article will focus on liens that third parties put on your property without your consent. When a lien is put on your property, you technically cannot sell or refinance your home without paying off the lien. A lien can delay or even prevent the sale of your property.

Types of Lien

There are a number of different circumstances under which a security interest in your property can arise.

Tax Liens

The local, state, or federal government can make a tax lien against your property if you owe taxes, such as income tax, property tax, or estate tax. After the government assesses the amount you owe, you will be sent a Notice and Demand For Payment, which will show you how much you owe.

You can pay back all or part of the lien amount with equity you have in your property. Otherwise, the sum will come out of the proceeds of sale, at closing. Your current mortgage will also be paid off from the proceeds.

Mechanic’s Lien

If people perform work on your property – like a mechanic who fixes your car or a contractor who installs or constructs something in your home – and you don’t pay, they can put liens on your property to ensure that if you sell it, they will get what is owed to them from the proceeds.

Mortgage Liens

If you can’t make your mortgage payments, the entity that provides your loan can foreclose on your property and force a sale of your home in order to recover the entire outstanding amount. It is a terrible thing to lose your home and not be in control of its sale. If the lender wants to repossess your house and you are able to pay what’s owed, a court may grant you a remedy called “redemption.” If the lender forecloses, however, you are out of luck in that regard.

Judgement Lien

If someone has sued you – for negligence, breach of contract, or debt, for example – wins the lawsuit, and a court judgement is made against you, a judge can order a lien on your property to satisfy the debt. This allows your judgment creditors – the people to whom the court says you owe money – to foreclose on your property and force a sale of the home so they can recover the debt from the proceeds.

What Can I Do if There Is a Lien on My Home?

A lot of people ask whether they can tack the lien to the selling price of the home. A property’s sale price is determined mainly by the real estate market, so you are responsible for it. In very rare cases, you might be able to convince the buyer to take over the debt.

Because if the current economic conditions, you could ask the federal government to discharge the lien amount, especially if the proceeds from the sale of your property will be less than the amount of your lien. There are also programs in place to help with refinancing or restructuring mortgages and Direct Debit Installment Agreement programs.

If your property is in Brooklyn, NY and you have a lien against it, Revolver Properties can help. If you are struggling, we can buy your property and pay you cash to help you get back on your feet. Have any questions about liens or want to talk to us about how our process works, don’t hesitate. Be proactive and contact us today!

You can fill out a quick form on our website at or email us at or feel free to text or call us at 917.364.3054. Thanks from the Revolver Properties Team!

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