The title records maintained by the county recorder’s office help show who owns a property. When there are questions about the actual owner, a title search can quickly resolve the issue in most cases. Those title records don’t just show the name of the current owner or a history of the deeds executed to transfer ownership.
Title records can also include liens against your property. Generally speaking, liens are either voluntary or involuntary. Many people place voluntary liens against their homes by financing the purchase of residential real estate or taking out a home equity line of credit or second mortgage to access their accumulated equity for other purposes.
Individuals can also be subject to involuntary liens related to debt-collection matters. Local tax authorities can obtain a lien if you have not paid your real estate taxes. Hospitals and other unsecured creditors can ask for a lien related to debt. Even contractors who have worked on your home can secure an involuntary lien against the property. Unfortunately, records of those liens could cause major complications if you intend to sell your property or even refinance it.
You have to clear the lien to complete the transaction
The reason that an involuntary lien can complicate and delay real estate transactions is that the property owner must resolve the lien before making any changes to the property’s ownership. Typically, you need to pay a lien to remove it.
However, if you have evidence that the lien was secured or recorded in error or that you already paid it in full, then you can potentially go to court to have the lien removed from your property records through a quiet title action.
How quiet title actions work
Provided that you have proof that the lien was placed on your record in error or that you have already resolved the underlying matter, you can go to civil court and ask a judge to remove the lien. They will review the evidence related to your property’s ownership records and then potentially enter a court order removing the blemish.
If you know that there is a lien against your property or was one before, reviewing your title records months before you intend to list your property can give you time to pursue the necessary civil action to remove those leans and quickly move forward with the transaction when you are ready.
Learning about how quiet title actions help Pennsylvania property owners can lead to a quick resolution for a title issue affecting your property.