Answer for "Who can put a lien on your house?"

Paula Myhrer real estate agent
  Signature Sothebys International Realty

You know what is the truest answer to “who can put a lien on your house”?

Yourself.

We’re not trying to be smart here; it’s the truth. Failing to pay up a debt is what gives way for a lien to be put on an asset like a house, so, a broad answer to who can put a lien on your house is “almost anyone”, but if you pay up everything correctly the answer becomes “no one” – doesn’t that mean that, in the end, the person responsible for putting the lien on the house is yourself.

But yes, we know what you mean by “who can put a lien on your house”. You’re not interested in knowing that the person who puts (assigns) a lien to the house is a judge either; you want some specifics of the most common people that sue and obtain a judgment lien, right?

The IRS is a big lien holder. And their lien is statutory (automatic). No need for your consent or a lawsuit; if you fail to pay a lot of taxes, they can record a lien to recuperate the value owed.

Contractors can put your house on a lien if you don’t pay in full. And here’s a scary thing: maybe you did even pay in full but the contractor skipped one payment to the subcontractors. The subcontractor can put a lien on the house even though you did your part!

Ex-spouses typically put liens on the house as a way to guarantee the money they are owed if you fail to pay for child support and alimony.

And, of course, mortgages. But this one is voluntary; you agreed to have a lien put on your house when you signed the mortgage papers – and they weren’t even fine lines…


Real Estate Advice:

Now that we answered who can put a lien on your house, let us say this: if you’ve passed the “who” and is wondering “how to stop a lien on your property”;  get a real estate lawyer! You won’t stand a chance without it.

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