how to get a lien off your house

How to Get a Lien off Your House (+ How Much it Costs & How Long it Takes)

The matter of how to get a lien off your house – such as if you are planning to sell it – is often complicated, but you may have options. The prime concern is balancing the cost of resolution with how long it takes to resolve, and both depend on the circumstances. 

Can a lien be removed?

Yes, a lien on your property can be removed once the debt is paid in full. Additionally, all property liens in the State of California are nullified after 10 years have passed – unless extended by the Franchise Tax Board. Additional options include negotiating a resolution with the lienholder, turning to the court in relation to error or procedural concerns, selling to a motivated buyer, and beyond.

Can a judgement lien be removed?

Yes, a judgement lien, which is lien ordered by the court, can be removed from your property. This can be accomplished in several primary ways that include all the following:

  • Paying off the remaining debt
  • Asking the court to remove the judgment lien, based on error or use of improper procedure 
  • Negotiating a partial payment with a negotiated lien release
  • Finding a buyer who is willing to absorb the lien
  • Waiting for the 10-year statute of limitations to expire
  • Filing bankruptcy – in some instances

Wondering how to get a lien off your house?

The easiest way to release a lien on your house is by satisfying the associated debt. If this isn’t practical or possible, you may have other options. In some instances, selling a home with a lien to a real estate investor for cash can help resolve the issue quickly.

Additional options include selling the home to a buyer who is willing to take on the lien, negotiating a settlement with the lender, waiting out the 10-year lifespan of the lien, and seeking a removal of liens based on error or procedural improprieties. In certain situations, you may be able to file for bankruptcy in order to bypass a lien.

Here’s how to remove a lien on a property

To remove a lien on a property, you’ll first need to identify it. Wondering how to find liens on a property? You can do the searching yourself at your county recorder’s office – either online or in person. Once you’ve identified a lien, the next step is exploring your best options. 

You cannot remove a lien on property from a registrar office yourself. Once you’ve resolved the debt, the obligation of removing the lien from the property falls to the creditor with whom you’ve settled the matter. As the last step in the process, however, you should check with your county clerk’s office to ensue the lien has been removed.

What are liens? A lien is a hold creditors place on properties in relation to attached debt, and they interfere with the sale of the properties. There are a range of ways to remove a lien from your property, but finding the right approach for you will depend on the circumstances involved.

Pay the lien off

As mentioned, the most straightforward approach when it comes to removing a lien on a property is paying it off. This way, you’re sure to reach the desired results in what’s likely to be the shortest amount of time. By paying off the debt upfront, you resolve the matter legally while bolstering your peace of mind in the process. 

How to pay off a lien

In order to pay off your lien, you’ll need to address the matter with the creditor involved. Once you have resolved the financial end of things, you can file a lien release form with the court to officially take care of the matter.

Asking the court to remove the judgment lien

Occasionally, liens are placed on properties in error. Additionally, some lienholders fail to follow California’s procedural requirements. Removing a false lien in such a situation is a possibility. 

How to remove an invalid lien on a property? Having a lien removal attorney work on your behalf is generally the best path forward.

Negotiating a partial payment

How to get a lien release on a house? If the party that holds the lien is interested and is in a financial position to accept a partial payment and payment plan, you may also be able to negotiate a lien release. Lienholders generally prefer to cut deals – rather than walking away with nothing or next to nothing. 

Finding the right buyer

How to remove a judgement lien from your house? You may not have to if you find the right buyer. If the homebuyer you’re working with is especially keen to buy your property, they may be willing to take on the lien that’s attached.

This kind of deal is generally related to having a plum location or property that the buyer is very motivated to purchase. Making an offer that the buyer can’t refuse can also do the trick. 

Waiting out the statute of limitations

How is a lien terminated? One means of terminating a lien is riding out the 10-year statute of limitations in California. This means that, once 10 years have passed from the judgment entry date, the lien is cleared.

This applies only to judgment liens, which are involuntary liens. There is no statute of limitations when it comes to voluntary liens, such as your mortgage. 

Filing bankruptcy

There are specific circumstances in which bankruptcy may be able to help you get out from under a lien. The ins and outs of bankruptcy, however, are complex, and working closely with a bankruptcy attorney is likely to your advantage. 

How much does it cost to remove a lien on property?

Some liens require removal fees. For example, mortgage lenders charge a re-conveyance fee of from $100 to $300 to release liens. You’ll also need to pay a recording fee of from $10 to $50 to the county clerk in order to officially record the mortgage lien release.  

How long does it take to remove a lien from property?

Liens typically take the form of a “cloud” on the property title, and the cloud remains there until the debt is resolved and the lienholder clears the record. In California, lenders are required to cancel deeds of trust and dismiss trustees on mortgages within three weeks of being fully paid.

Wondering how to remove a property lien in California specifically? Maybe we can help

Can you sell a house with a lien on it? In some cases, you can sell a house with a lien on it, and real estate companies that buy houses for cash offer some of the best opportunities. At SoCal Home Buyers, we have significantly more financial flexibility than most buyers, which can translate to more sales opportunities.

While buying a property with a lien on it isn’t always an option, it can be in certain situations. If you’re preparing to sell a home that has a lien on it in Southern California, we invite you to learn more about how we may be able to help by reaching out today. 

Our key takeaways on how to get a lien removed from property

There are several types of liens in California that can interfere with your ability to sell a property. Ultimately, however, there are situations in which you can sell a home with lien on it. At SoCal Home Buyers, we buy houses for cash, and under some circumstances, we have the financial ability to absorb your lien or to delay the sale until you’ve had time to resolve the matter.

To make things that much easier, we’ve streamlined the process down to the following simple steps:

  1. Contact us at 951-331-3844 or fill out the short form below to request your fair cash offer. Note: If you’re dealing with liens on your property, don’t worry. We have experience handling such situations, and we’ll do our best to find a solution.
  2. Await our prompt response to discuss your property and the liens in greater detail and schedule a one-time inspection. Note: Dealing with liens requires a comprehensive understanding of the situation, and our team will work closely with you to assess the property’s condition and lien status.
  3. Our in-house inspector will assess your property and liens to determine a fair cash offer based on the market value and the lien amounts. Note: The presence of liens may impact the final cash offer, but we’ll strive to provide you with the best possible solution to resolve the liens and purchase your property.
  4. If you’re on board with the offer, we’ll work diligently to address the liens and facilitate the sale process. Note: Resolving liens can involve negotiations and legal procedures, which may extend the timeline. We’ll work with you to find the most suitable closing date.

Throughout the process of selling your house with liens, we’ll handle the complexities and work towards resolving the liens to ensure a smooth transaction. While liens can add intricacies to the selling process, our experienced team is here to guide you through the steps and find a solution that works best for you.

Reach out to us today to discuss your situation further and learn how we can help you sell your California house with liens.

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Who is responsible for removing the lien to clear the title?

Once you’ve paid what you owe on a lien or have otherwise resolved the matter, the lienholder is responsible for removing it and clearing the title. If you’ve resolved a lien, checking in with the county clerk’s office to ensure they’ve released it is advised.   

Can a title company remove a lien?

Ultimately, only the lienholder or the court can have a lien removed from a property in California. This said, however, a title company can help you remove a lien on your home. Once the county recorder’s office releases the lien, your property becomes more marketable. 

Do liens on property expire?

In effect, judgment liens on homes and other properties in California expire after ten years of being recorded. This is the state’s statute of limitations on liens. Only if the Franchise Tax Board extends this limitation can a lien remain active beyond the 10-year mark. 

What happens when a lien expires?

When a lien that is not extended by California’s Franchise Tax Board expires, it is considered a resolved legal matter. The statute of limitations on property liens in California is 10 years from the date of registration, and liens that go beyond this point expire.  

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