Home Buying in 22032>Question Details

A Saxena, Home Buyer in Fairfax County, VA

What does it mean for "lien to attach/not attach" to a real estate property.?

Asked by A Saxena, Fairfax County, VA Tue Jun 9, 2009

There is a judgement lien with sellers on the property and I am being told that due to bankruptcy filed by seller, and property being bought after the bankruptcy, the lien will not attach when the property is sold.

What does it mean for lien to not attach to a property?

Is it so, if the search in the VA federal circuit court/land records is performed after the sale the lien is not going to show up against the new owner after the sale?

I am just trying to understand the concept of attaching in view land records. Help as usual is appreciated.


Help the community by answering this question:


Hi A Saxena - the best person to explain this to you is a real estate/title attorney. Who is the title company that is handling your closing? Be persistent and speak with the attorney there.

As a real estate agent, this is not my field. However, this question had come up in the past with a client of mine and it is my understanding that some liens are attached to the person. So even though that person sells the house, he will still be responsible for it. Other liens are attached to the property which means that after a transfer of ownership, the NEW owners would be responsible for it because they are now the owners of that property.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 9, 2009
This is why you have a title company process the settlement. Make sure that you have selected your own title company and not the one that the seller has requested. Under state law, they can not force you to choose a title company.
Think of the home as collateral, and that is what the lien is being attached to. If the home is being disposed of in a bankruptcy, then the lien can no longer be placed on the home since it is separated from the owner in a bankruptcy. A good settlement attorney will be able to protect you on the purchase, and although people feel it is a scam, title insurance is a must in this situation. I can assure you that you feel it is a scam until you need it...just like all insurance! If the seller can not provide a clear title on the property, then there are few lenders who will allow for a loan to be placed on it.

Just make sure you have a good settlement group.

Jimmy Mulhern
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 29, 2009
I'm not an attorney, and I'm not giving you legal advice. You'll need to hire a real-estate attorney for that.

Basically a lien can be attached to a property or person. If attached to a property, then that lien has to be satisfied before the title can transfer free and clear to another owner.

Since the lien in question won't attach to the property, then the property can be sold without the new buyer needing to satisfy that lien.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 25, 2009
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