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How to handle a lien on title that you’ve already paid in full

| Dec 14, 2020 | Quiet Title |

Liens against your property cause title issues that don’t go away until you pay them in full.  Some liens or encumbrances are the result of financing decisions.  If you take out a loan or mortgage using your home as collateral, the lender will place a lien against the property to protect its financial investment.  You usually agree to the lien by signing paperwork before you receive the loan.

Liens can also be the result of someone taking legal action against a property owner.  A hospital with unpaid medical bills might ask the court to place a lien against the property of its patient.  A contractor who has done work on a home can also ask for a lien. That lien protects them by ensuring you can’t sell the property without first paying them.

Unfortunately, not every lienholder takes prompt action to remove a lien after someone pays it in full.

How do you take off a lien after you’ve paid the account or debt?

Most of the time, lenders and other lienholders will automatically take the necessary steps to remove a lien when the property owner fulfills his financial obligations.  Other times, the company might forget to remove the lien.  It’s also possible that someone might choose not to remove it out of spite.

If you have paid off the debt in question and have proof of payment, filing a quiet title action can help you remove the blemish from your title.

You need documentation or evidence for quiet title action

In a quiet title proceeding, property owners go to court to clear up title issues.  Provided that you have documentation that you have paid the balance of a loan or have otherwise met the necessary criteria to have the lien removed, the judge overseeing your case can quickly remove the blemishes from your title.  This puts you in a position to refinance, sell your home or transfer it to someone else.

Sometimes, gathering evidence can be a challenge.  You may not have as many records as you’d like to validate your claims of payment.  Even with old liens and complicated scenarios, it is possible to use quiet title action to get your property ready for sale or transfer.

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