Home Buying in California>Question Details

Newturf, Home Buyer in California

how do you find out about any liens on a property?

Asked by Newturf, California Fri Jan 21, 2011

I'm considering buying a house in forclosure.

Help the community by answering this question:


New -

In the state of California you are able to purchase title insurance that will protect you against title issues. There are two policies available but most purchase a California ALTA. If you are obtaining a loan in the purchase, your lender will require you purchase a title insurance policy to in fact protect their collateral (the house).

You can find out what liens are currently applied by reviewing the preliminary title report. Note the date in which this report was completed as many times a seller will also end up defaulting on items like garbage. This should be updated the week prior to signing any loan docs and the seller/short sale lender should acknowledge pay off of all liens on the HUD-1.

The purchase of title insurance is very important. For more information on what it covers:

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.TalkToCJ.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
If a home all ready in foreclosure bank has all ready addressed all concerns prior to their possession. The title is paid to investigate all transaction prior to closing clear any problems NOT your job.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
There are several ways, one of the easist is to go to your county's web site and search by name, address, or tax id (parcel number). Here it is Pima County Assessors site. Course, you can always call a Title company as well.

Best of luck.
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty
Tucson, AZ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Do banks cover liens such as back taxes for Short Sales (before foreclosure)?
Will the county records show liens other than taxes?
What other pitfalls should I watch for in considering short sales?

Thanks for some very helpful answers! Property I'm considering isn't actually in foreclosure yet, I misspoke. Owners are trying to do a short sale. I will get buyer's title insurance, & do want to gather as much background info as possible myself, as part of getting educated about the process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
An experienced Realtor can help you with the entire process. The title company will be able to determine what liens are on the property and those will have to be paid off and/or released in order for the transaction to go through and so you get clean title. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
That would be the job for the banks or your title company to determine. The liens on the property would need to be satisfied prior to transfer of deed. Purchasing an owners title insurance policy will also protect you in most cases from any undiscovered title issues that were undiscovered.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Hi Newturf,

If you are talking about buying a property at a Trustee sale, then you should stop into a local escrow company and ask them if they could please run a lien check on the property for you. Many will do this for you as a courtesy. If the property is already on the market as a foreclosure ( or REO), it should have a clear title.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Hi Newturf,

When you purchase a foreclosure property, the bank should pay any outstanding liens on the property. In addition, as a home buyer you should purchase title insurance. Title insurance ensures that you are purchasing the property free and clear of any liens or encumberances.

If you want to do some checking on your own, you should visit the Prothonotary's office at the county court house for the home.

Good luck,

Joe Finnerty
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Lehigh Valley Office, PA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
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