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Liens are a matter of public record once recorded. To find if there are any liens, here are your options:.

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A lien on a house is a legal claim against your property. It gives creditors a stake in your home and a way to collect debts owed to them. There are two types of liens that can be placed against a property. A voluntary lien is a lien the homeowner agrees to — like a mortgage. These are the liens that affect your ability to sell a property easily — and also the more difficult to discharge from the public record. When the lien on a house is paid off, the creditor has been satisfied. Their primary objective was to get paid, and once that is done, removing the lien may or may not be on their radar.

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While title can be conveyed without all liens being paid, most retail buyers will not purchase the property without clear title. Certainly no lender would approve the purchase. The seller's loan is paid off at the closing table, and the lien is released during the closing process. Government holders of involuntary liens like tax or IRS liens should automatically send you a lien release once the debt has been paid. The best chance of having a lien release signed is before the final installment has been paid — that is, make the final installment contingent upon them signing a lien release.

Lien releases must be notarized in order for the county to accept them. With a smaller lien holder, meeting them at a bank to make the final payment will be easier than if you were dealing with a larger lien holder. After the search is performed, a policy is written. The search should turn up any liens on the property, and the insurance policy protects against most liens not found, such as undisclosed heirs, errors, or omissions in transferring deed, as well as forgeries.

Title insurance is a little different from most insurance policies. Other types of insurance policies are purchased to protect you against future issues — you buy auto insurance to cover damages and losses in potential accidents. Title insurance protects you against past instances that actually have nothing to do with you personally.

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Clouds on title pop up unexpectedly. Many times, the cloud is a surprise to the seller — they may not have purchased title insurance when they bought the property. Trust but verify is the best course of action. Joshua Dorkin is a serial entrepreneur, investor, podcaster, publisher, educator, and co-author of How to Invest in Real Estate. He started BiggerPockets to help democratize the real estate investing landscape for himself and others, aiming to make it accessible for everyone, regardless of income or education.

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Get the book now. Real Estate Books Shop books covering real estate investing and personal finance. Search Nova. Log In Sign up. Joshua Dorkin. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free. By Joshua Dorkin. Thanks for the post. I was unaware of the book. I just ordered it and am looking forward to reading it. Randy Phillips wholesaler from Clovis, California Replied about 3 years ago. A very informative article.

On one property the liens were many years old from family members that had since passed away. The Title company suggested the seller get a bond, some kind of insurance that will pay out in case a heir makes a future claim. I finally gave up on that property. Some liens are paid out of the sellers proceeds and some the buyer will pay or I agree to pay if seller is unwilling and their is enuf profit in the deal. Online Property Access. Property Search. Step 1: Select a Search Method.

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Street Address. Parcel ID. Owner Criteria. Search tips: Owner names are entered as they appear on the deed or other legal document presented for transfer. For individual names, enter the last name followed by the first name for example, JONES JO Partial entries are accepted and search results will be returned for all partial matches of the entered search results.

A specific property can be selected from the search results. Search Clear Form. Street Address Criteria. House Range -. Street Name. Enter Street Name without suffix and click Search. For a range of property on a street, enter Low Range and High Range.

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To check spelling of a street in our system click the street listing - Street Listings. Parcel Criteria. Parcel Number Search tips: The Parcel Number is a numeric or alphanumeric string of characters that uniquely identifies a property record. In Hamilton County most parcel numbers are 13 characters long.


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Your parcel number can be found on your tax bill or most other correspondence mailed to you from the Auditor's office. To Search by Parcel Number, all or part of the number can be entered.