Dena Standley | April 04, 2023
Summary: A lien on a house means that someone else, in addition to the title holder, has a legal claim to the property. Liens can be voluntary or involuntary, good or bad, as this article by SoloSuit explains.
Mortgages are the most common liens on homes. The property title is in your name when you take out a mortgage. However, the lender has some legal claim to the house until you fully repay the loan. That legal claim is called a lien—an attachment to the home that gives the holder some property rights.
Creditors use liens to ensure borrowers pay their debts. It's like using the house as collateral for a loan. And the lender can foreclose the mortgage to recover their money if you fail to repay as agreed.
But mortgages are just one type of lien. Some liens are less voluntary and may come as a surprise to consumers. This article explores lien types, how they affect the title to a property, and how to prevent a judgment lien on your house.
Liens generally fall into two groups—voluntary and involuntary. As the names suggest, the former is placed on the house with the owner's permission, while the latter applies against the owner's wishes.
Voluntary liens on a house include the following:
Voluntary liens are “good” because they allow the borrower to use the home while repaying the loan. These liens are removed from the house once the lender gets their money in full and are typically no cause for worry if you keep up with your repayments.
Financial troubles, disagreements between homeowners and contractors, and missed tax payments can all result in you “co-owning” your house with someone else.
The following are examples of involuntary liens you can have on your house.
So, is it bad to have a lien on your house? Let's explore some of the consequences of having liens on your home below.
Liens are legal, so you cannot just wish them away. Having a lien on your house has several disadvantages, including the following:
For most consumers struggling with debt, judgment liens are a possible reality.
Many debt settlement companies wrongly advise consumers to refrain from paying their unsecured debts. Some even say to ignore debt collectors' lawsuits. However, ignoring a court Summons is the quickest way to get a judgment lien on your house.
Instead, if a creditor sues you, file your Answer within the deadline at the court. Be sure to send the plaintiff a copy of the document.
Use SoloSuit to generate your Answer in minutes.
After filing your response, you can offer to settle the debt out of court. Or you can invoke the arbitration clause in your contract to force the lawsuit out of court. SoloSuit provides these products cheaply for consumers who cannot afford to hire an attorney.
Remember that involuntary liens taint your property and may put off potential buyers. It's in your best interest to do your all to prevent or remove them when possible.
Related: How to Get Rid of a Judgment Lien on a Property.
To learn more about how to respond to a lawsuit and avoid a judgment lien, check out this video:
SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
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Out Debt Validation Letter is the best way to respond to a collection letter. Many debt collectors will simply give up after receiving it.
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