Liens in Texas
There are several types of liens in Texas. The following is a list of the most common types of liens we deal with:
(1) Judgment liens against the homestead;
(2) Mechanic or Materialman’s lien, otherwise known as (M&M liens);
(3) fraudulent liens; and
(4) child support liens
Property tax liens and federal income tax liens are also very common, however we do not deal with these types of liens as there is no removal procedure for them.
If you currently have a property tax lien or federal income tax lien, we recommend you contact your creditor immediately and enter into a payment arrangement with the particular State or Federal taxing authority. These types of creditors are aggressive and receive the highest priority. It is in your best interest to deal with them as quickly as possible to avoid more severe collection remedies.
Nothing will derail selling your home faster than finding out there is a lien on the property at closing.
Chad Johnson Managing Partner
Often times the existence of a lien is discovered when a title company checks the county records when you are attempting to sale or refinance a piece of property you own. The lien attached to that property adversely affects the property’s marketability and insurability. Almost every time, the title company will demand that the lien be paid and released as a condition of issuing a title policy for the sale or refinance. This happens regardless of whether the lien is valid or not. Many times this will halt a sale of the property and put you in limbo right at closing. However, when viewed from the title company’s prospective, since they are insuring the property and its’ title, this is the safest course of action.
The first step in having a lien removed is to contact the judgment creditor or their attorneys and inform them that the lien is either invalid, or is currently filed against your homestead. The next step is to make formal written demand that the creditor execute a release (or a partial release) in exchange for not filing a legal action against the creditor. Most creditor's attorneys are well versed in the potential liability their clients will face if they refuse to remove the invalid lien and they will usually cooperate and advise the creditor to sign a release immediately. However, if the creditor refuses, then this is the time to hire an experienced firm like Johnson & Bryan to file a lawsuit and take legal action against the creditor.
Unfortunately for consumers, the rules surrounding lien release in Texas are highly nuanced and complex. There are different laws and statutes depending on what type of lien it is (judgment, M&M, fraudulent, etc), when the lien was filed (pre-2007 vs post-2007 for example), and even some statutes that require a formal hearing before the court to resolve the issue. There are documents that must be filed with specific formats and strict deadlines in even the most straight forward cases. This is one of those situations where you really do need an experienced lawyer to get you through the process.
If you have already requested the lien to be released, and for whatever reason been denied by your creditor, contact us immediately to get the help you need. We have made our lien release fees affordable to make this service accessible to everyone. Don't get tripped up in the complex laws regarding lien releases in Texas. Contact us today to discuss your case.
The information contained in this web page is for general information and educational purposes and is not legal advice. Reading these posts does not create an attorney / client relationship with the law firm of Johnson & Bryan.