What happens with property liens when you quit claim a property deed?

I am trying to buy a property that is vacant. The owners moved out when they filed bankruptcy 8 years ago and has been empty since then. I just found out there is a 148k and a 60k mortgage lien on the property. If I can get the owner to quit claim it to me, am I legally responsible for the liens? And can I rent/sell the property?

Scottsbluff, NE -

Attorney Answers (3)

Michael T Millar

Michael T Millar

Real Estate Attorney - Toms River, NJ

A quitclaim deed does not extinguish liens. It transfers property subject to all existing liens.

You would not be personally responsible for the seller's debts - in that the lienors could not go after your other assets. However, they could attach the property and seek a judicial sale to satisfy the debts.

You likely could not sell the property unless someone is willing to take it subject to the liens. Someone might be willing to do that if there was sufficient equity so that they could make money - i.e., if paying off the liens would mean that they are getting a good deal.

You could rent it. But, the debtors could seek a court order seeking a turn over of rents.

One question is whether the person still owns the property - or whether they surrendered the property to the bank in the bankruptcy. If the person no longer own it - then he cannot convey it to you.

I am not a NE attorney, laws vary from state to state, therefore you should always consult a local attorney.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education... more
Brendan Michael Kelly

Brendan Michael Kelly

Criminal Defense Attorney - Omaha, NE

You would be responsible for the liens. Get a lawyer to help you.

Vincent J. Gallo

Vincent J. Gallo

Real Estate Attorney - Staten Island, NY

1. What happens to the liens" Nothing.

2. Are you legally responsible for paying the liens? No, but if you don't and they are foreclosed on, you will lose the property.

3. Can you rent the property? Yes, unless and until you lose it in foreclosure. Can you sell the property? Yes, provided you satisfy all liens.

Note, a bankruptcy filing does not, in and of itself, discharge the cloud of the mortgage liens against a property.

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