I tried getting a title search but was told the name was too common and I would need their last 4.
If there is a lien on an individual does that automatically apply to their property?
All of my colleagues have stated concerns that are important to your situation. However, let's just go back a step to make sure you're not barking up the wrong tree.
You can tell from the foreclosure complaint almost exactly how much the owner owes the lender. If your purchase price for the property is less than the amount owed to the lender, then the buyer won't have enough cash to satisfy the mortgage and the deal can't close. If your offer is at or near the fair market value of the house, you might be better off letting the property go through foreclosure. The foreclosure process itself will extinguish all the liens.
If there is a lien on an individual, the lien attaches to any real estate that the individual owns in the county in which the lien was obtained. However, the same might not be true for any IRS liens. So, you need to know exactly what you are getting into and if you were ever going to hire an attorney, now is the time. Good luck
Switching your question to the foreclosure category. Liens such as judgment liens do attach to any real and personal property that a person owns. But if it is a common name, it can be a problem to confirm if a person with a judgment is the same as the real property owner. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local attorney who does foreclosures.
This response is not legal advice, but is general information only, based upon the information stated in the question and general legal principles. It is provided for general educational purposes of the public who may have similar questions, not for any specific individual or circumstance. It is not intended to create, and the user of Avvo understands and agrees that this response does not create, an attorney-client relationship. Legal issues depend on all the specific facts of a situation, and it is not possible to cover all the facts and issues on Avvo. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about your issue, you must contact a local attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state. Mr. Jaap is licensed to practice law in Ohio. He and his law firm gladly accept new clients, but they cannot accept any representation until they confirm that it will not create a conflict of interest with their existing client relationships and obtain a signed representation agreement. Accordingly, do not send them any confidential information unless and until they have confirmed their representation of you in writing.
You can search any recorded documents on the site of the Fiscal Officer at http://recorder.cuyahogacounty.us/searchs/generalsearchs.aspx and taxes due at http://fiscalofficer.cuyahogacounty.us/AuditorApps/real-property/REPI/default.asp. But that is not exhaustive as to potential encumbrances and there are other legal considerations. I would agree with my colleague that retaining a competent real estate attorney is a good idea when investing in real estate, especially if you are thinking about doing this more than once.
Any time, prior to purchasing a foreclosure, you need to retain an experienced mortgage foreclosure defense attorney, who will have the expertise to help you avoid problems with foreclosed properties, which can have devastating financial consequences for the uneducated and unprepared. To properly answer your questions and address your concerns, the best way to handle this is with an in person consultation with an experienced OH mortgage foreclosure defense attorney. Use AVVO's Find a Lawyer tool to select a qualified attorney. Good luck. THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE! YOU NEED TO SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY WHO IS LICENSED IN YOUR STATE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. This is merely suggestions for you to think about in discussing your situation with the local attorney.
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Also, check the Court filing to see if there is a preliminary judicial report and what pleadings have been filed which assert a claim against the property. It might be more expedient to buy at the Sheriff's sale.
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