When you receive a monetary judgement against someone, and that person does not pay, you will be told to place a lien on his or her property, including the house, boats, and/or cars.
How does lien work?
Placing a lien, in essence, is a course of recordation. It put the public who search for titles of this person’s property on notice of his debt to you. The person can continue to stay in the house, or give the house away on quick claim without being punished by law. However, in many cases, say when he needs to finance the house, sell the house, the mortgagors or the buyers usually want to buy a property with a clear title, he then has to figure out a way to pay the debtor, you. If the property is worthy more than the lien, chances are you will be paid at closing from the proceeds so that the title is clear.
What if the property is not worthy of the lien, or there are a few debtors claiming lien before you on the house, you are facing the chance you don’t get a penny after a long wait.
In sum, it's a good idea to check when you record your lien whether other liens already exist on the property. If there are other liens, still place yours, but seriously consider pursuing other strategies. As a matter of fact, a serious debtor should always consider other strategies.
We will discuss other strategies in following blogs.