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If you are trying to buy or sell a house that has a mechanic lien on the property, it must be taken care of (released by the lien holder) before any change of ownership can take place.

In real estate terms, a mechanic lien, or a construction lien, is a security interest in the title of property. If a subcontractor, architect, plumber, etc. does work on a piece of property and were never paid, they will file a lien in the county where the property is located against the particular property.

One important thing to know about mechanic liens: If you hire a general contractor to do work on your house and the general contractor hired a subcontractor and did not pay him for the job performed, the subcontractor can file a lien against your property and the home owner will be responsible for paying it before it will be released.

Some tips to avoid mechanic liens

  1. Keep all receipts and paperwork from the contractor
  2. Get a lien waiver
  3. Pay with joint checks
  4. Pay subcontractors yourself

The best defense against a lien on your house is to avoid it at all costs. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you need a lien released, please contact us to help you determine the best course of action for your situation.