Can a lien be put against my property title without me being notified and given the opportunity to contest it?

I received a summons regarding a loan we took out for my husband's small business endeavor, which unfortunately failed. We fell behind on the payments, Beneficial involved their attorneys, we received a summons requiring us to serve the plaintiff's attorney with our answer regarding the complaint within 28 days, and we did exactly that. We made payment arrangements with the firm, gave some upfront money that satisfied Beneficial, and have not missed a payment since. That happened around February 2011. In May 2011, a lien was put against our title. We NEVER received any notification of this or had any conversations with the legal firm regarding this happening. Are they allowed to do this? Again, we have paid every payment to the firm on time as agreed. Please advise.

Middletown, OH -

Attorney Answers (3)

Michelle Lynn Marshall

Michelle Lynn Marshall

Real Estate Attorney - Columbus, OH
Answered

Hello, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds to me like Beneficial got a judgment against you in the collection case they filed, certified that judgment and filed it with the common pleas court in the county where your property is located. That being the case, it became a judgment lien vs. something like a mechanic's lien which you would have been notified about at the time it was recorded. Your notice of Beneficial's interest would have been the case they filed - if you filed an answer with the court and didn't take any additional action after that, Beneficial would have been granted a judgment which they can then use to lien your property without any supplemental notice to you. If you've been paying them, they likely filed the judgment to ensure they received payment in full. Once you've paid them off, they should file a release & satisfaction of that judgment lien. And to answer your question yes, they can do that. If you haven't already, I would suggest asking Beneficial for a reconciliation of your account to make sure they are properly applying your payments to the outstanding balance.

As you can probably tell, my answer is based on much speculation and I would need additional facts to give you a more definitive response. It is always good advice to consult with a real estate attorney in Middletown who can review the docket for Beneficial's original case against you and can see when the judgment was filed and for what amount. You can search for one on Avvo or contact your local bar association for a referral. I hope this was helpful, and best of luck to you.

I am licensed in the State of Ohio, posting a response to your question or issue does not create an attorney-... more
Joseph Luke Beyke

Joseph Luke Beyke

Real Estate Attorney - Cincinnati, OH
Answered

I agree with the previous advice, it sounds like you have a certified judgment against you on the business loan that you likely personally guaranteed. I’m wondering if you possibly entered into an Agreed Judgment Entry with Beneficial and set forth the payment plan in the Agreed Entry. If so, did the Agreed Entry authorize Beneficial to certify even though you are current on payments? If the judgment lien is causing a problem such as affecting your credit or preventing you from refinancing, I would think since you are current on the payment plan that the Attorney for Beneficial may be willing to work with you on the lien.

I am licensed in Ohio & Kentucky, posting a response to your question or issue does not create an attorney-client... more
Mark Alan Mackin

Mark Alan Mackin

Real Estate Attorney - Helena, MT
Answered

Looks to me like you have good advice about your situation. Time to settle down and work with one attorney, not three.

DISCLAIMER: The forgoing comment is for general educational purposes only, and is not legal advice upon which the... more

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