CAN A LIEN BE PLACED ON MY HOMESTEAD IN TEXAS?

Asked over 1 year ago - Abilene, TX

A COLLECTION AGENCY BOUGHT MY DEBT FROM MY CREDITOR. I BECAME ILL, LOST MY JOB,AND COULD NOT PAY MY DEBTORS. MY HOME IS COMPLETELY PAID FOR AND I LIVE ALONE. MY HOME IS PROBABLY WORTH ABOUT $60,000. A LIEN WAS PLACED ON MY HOME.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Arthur Harold Geffen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As long is the underlying debt is not for purchase money, improvement or taxes, your homestead is exempt from execution. The creditor could have obtained a judgment and filed it in the real estate records of the county where you live, but as long as you live in the home as your homestead and/or sell it to buy a new homestead, they cannot enforce the judgment lien.

    Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the answer was a good answer tab below. Thanks.... more
  2. Brian W. Erikson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . An ordinary creditor (not a taxing authority or the purchase money lender) cannot file a valid lien against someone's homestead. For the house to be your homestead, the house is in your name and you must live there.

    For an invalid lien, you should write a letter by certified mail to demand that the lien be released, pointing out that the property is your homestead. If the lien claimant does not voluntarily release the lien, the claimant could be liable for a fraudulent lien under Chapter 12 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code. Chapter 12 can award damages of $10,000 or actual damages whichever is greater, plus attorney's fees.

    I have a lot of mechanic's lien materials (the law, notice forms, deadline charts, etc.) at my web site, The Construction Report. The web address for The Construction Report is:

    http://www.theconstructionreport.org

    You appear to be judgment proof, meaning that even a creditor with a judgment cannot seize any of your assets. Please review my legal guide on what property is protected from seizure by a creditor in Texas at the following web address:

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-prope...

    A debtor's homestead is one of the protected assets.

    Good luck.

  3. Thomas J. Turner

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The other two lawyers who have already answered this question are correct, but there is one other lien otther than a purchase money lien that can attache to a homestead, and that is a mechanic's or materialman's lien for work and materials you contracted for work on your home.

  4. Michael Wayne Weston

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The other lawyers are correct that the lien does not attach to your homestead but the lien will sill cloud title on your homestead if you try to sell your home or re-finance. First of all is there a valid judgment? A lien is created only after a judgment and after the creditor files the "abstract of judgment" in the real property records of where your home is. The lien automatically attaches to non-exempt property but as the other lawyers have explained, your homestead is exempt so the lien will not attach.

    That being said, the judgment will still cause problems if you ever sell or re-finance your homestead. Most title companies will require a partial release of the judgment before giving any type of title insurance on the property. There is a procedure in the property code that allows you to obtain a release without paying the creditor anything. You should consult an attorney to explore this further.

    My comments are not legal advice and are for informational purposes only.

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