How To Find Out If a Property Has a Lien

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Just because you’ve owned a house for a long time doesn’t mean you know everything about it. Homeowners are not always notified when liens are placed on their property, so it’s entirely possible that there is a lien attached to your home that you aren’t aware of. Rather than being surprised when it comes time to sell, you should research whether there are any liens on your property—and if so, figure out how to get rid of them.


Key points from this article:

  • Online Search: You can use online public records databases or the county recorder, clerk, or assessor's website to search for liens on a property.
  • Physical Visit: Visit the county recorder, clerk, or assessor’s office in person to request information on property liens.
  • Title Company: Employ a title company to perform a lien search for you, which can provide a comprehensive report.
  • Real Estate Agent: A knowledgeable real estate agent can also assist in finding liens or direct you to the appropriate resources.

Disclaimer – The information on this page is intended for general informational purposes only and not to provide legal advice.

What is a property lien?

A property lien is a legal notice attached to a property indicating the presence of outstanding debt. It’s a way for the creditor who is owed money, known as the lienor, to guarantee that they will either get their money back or gain the right to claim the property for themselves.

Liens come in two varieties: voluntary and involuntary. A voluntary lien comes from a loan that a person willingly chooses to take out, such as a mortgage. An involuntary lien, conversely, is placed by a third party as a penalty for the property owner not making certain payments on time.

What type of property liens are there? Who can put a lien on your house?

Property liens come in multiple varieties and can be imposed by several different entities. Some of the most common liens placed on a home are:

Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman is the owner of AMI House Buyers and a seasoned real estate investor with a heavy focus on the Houston & Katy, Texas areas. She has done numerous flips, has owned multiple rental properties, and is also a licensed real estate agent in the state of Texas. She is heavily experienced in the area of foreclosures, burnouts, and inherited properties, and works with distressed homeowners in all types of situations to help them understand their options and find potential solutions.

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