When a debtor owes money and a creditor — company or individual — has nowhere else to turn, the resulting action may be a lien. In the briefest terms, a lien makes a claim against the debtor’s property until the debt is discharged (or, in California, a maximum of ten years). Whether it’s a simple oversight that turned complicated or the hard pinch of financial problems, liens against real property are all too common.
If the debt is not resolved, or if it is resolved but not recorded, the lien remains attached to the property, even when the property is sold. What’s more, the death of the debtor does not release the property from the lien.
A lien on a piece of real property is not a welcome surprise at the close of escrow and “But I didn’t know about it” is not an acceptable intervention.
A thorough title search and a policy of title insurance can resolve issues with existing liens and judgments and provide a measure of security against future surprises.
Assuring “clean title” is just one of The Sanborn Team’s commitments to our clients. As a part of preparing to put a property on the market we always review the preliminary title report so that we do not have any surprises and have ample time to deal with any existing liens. When you need expert representation for the purchase or sale of real property through probate, trust or conservatorship, call us: 310-777-2858.
(Learn more about judgment liens on property in California here or read the California Code of Civil Procedure section 697.310 – 697.410.)