What Is a Lien, and How Can I Remove It from My Property?

Law Offices of Peter V Lathouris LLC July 3, 2019

Liens are common in contracts with property and high-value assets, yet many people do not know what they are and what they do. A lien gives someone the right to another person’s property. These rights remain “dormant” unless debts are incurred on that particular property. The most common example is a home loan. When an individual borrows money to help pay off a home through a loan, the property itself becomes collateral. In other words, a person agrees to allow the lender to take his or her property through foreclosure if he or she does not pay the money owed on the house.

Tax liens work in a similar fashion. Local governments and the IRS can use liens to collect unpaid taxes. These liens do not have a single property listed, but rather, all current and future assets are available. Local governments and the IRS can collect from bank accounts and are able to collect money before all other creditors.

Mechanic's liens are also common in Connecticut. Contractors and suppliers can use them to enforce payment for their services. While liens may seem harsh for property owners, it may be the only way for some businesses to get paid if the other party incurs high amounts of debt.

Removing a Lien

Liens can place property owners in a difficult position if they are enforced, which is why it is important to know how to remove a lien if possible. Options for removing a lien include:

  1. Pay It Off: The purpose of a lien is to receive money where it is due. Thus, paying the lien off will typically remove it. Depending on the terms of the contract, you may be able to pay a lien off by selling your home or car rather than having them taken away from you.

  2. Negotiate: Working with creditors may lead to a solution. Some people will accept less than what is owed if it would be more beneficial to receive part of the money immediately rather than waiting for more money in the future. Negotiation may be possible for mechanic's liens, but it is typically not an option for taxes and the IRS.

  3. Obtain Legal Help: There may legal inconsistencies in a lien, or you may be able to bring legal action against the lienholder to get it released. Liens often have an expiration date, so it is important to verify that they are still valid. An experienced lien attorney is often your best bet for removing a lien.

Contact a Stamford Real Estate Lawyer

Liens can cause debt holders to lose everything if they do not seek professional legal help to defend themselves against the lienholder. Connecticut has specific laws that determine the effectiveness and duration of liens, so it is best to work with a lawyer who knows the details of lien litigation. At the Law Offices of Peter V. Lathouris, LLC, we have experience representing both lienholders and those who find themselves on the other end of a lien. If you are trying to keep your property or receive proper payment, contact our Fairfield County real estate lien attorneys for a free consultation.