The title search phase of a real estate sale in New York is crucial. If the current property owner has outstanding financial obligations, there may be a lien placed on the property until the owner pays up. Until these liens are resolved, the property cannot be sold to a new owner. According to Homelight, there are different types of liens that can be discovered during a title search.
It is likely that a contractor has done work on a house at some point during its existence, so you want to be sure that all the contracting bills were taken care of. If a contractor has not been paid, the contractor may place a materialman’s lien on the house. Companies that provide building materials for a house may also levy materialman’s liens if they have not received compensation.
Some homes are part of a homeowners association (HOA), so they are subject to the rules and regulations of that organization. HOA are known to levy fines on homeowners if they break one of the HOA regulations, such as violating a fencing or a grass requirement. In the event a property owner fails to pay a fine, a HOA can place a lien on the property.
The most serious property liens involve unpaid taxes. A homeowner that has not paid all required state taxes may have a lien slapped on the house by a state authority. Even more serious are liens that are levied by the IRS. Liens that involve a failure to pay federal taxes take top priority and are usually hard to resolve without the assistance of an attorney.
Some liens can be easily resolved by paying off the outstanding debt. However, the complex nature of other liens, particularly liens resulting from unpaid taxes, generally requires legal assistance to resolve. With the help of an attorney, you can try to negotiate down a large owed amount to a more manageable sum, or transfer your lien to a different property. If a lien is levied in error, an attorney can also help prove that you do not owe anything.
Title searches can reveal any number of outstanding issues with a piece of property. Due to this fact, you should not consider this article as legal advice. Only read it for your educational benefit.