How to Check for Liens

There are several ways to check for liens on an item before you make a major purchase.

A lien is a security interest granted against an item for payment of a debt. Everyday, millions of Americans buy real estate, automobiles and other possessions. Before you buy, inquire about pending liens. Checking for liens on prospective property can save you money and heartache down the road. Under the law, various ways exist to check for liens on items.

Step 1

Check county records. Call or make a visit to the courthouse to find out about liens. Ask the clerk to help in your search. When looking for property liens, visit the Tax Assessor to see if a tax lien exists on the property. Verify the address and property owner to establish the correct property. Utilize the computer database to look for various property liens and judgements against individuals.

Step 2

Search online for liens. Numerous websites offer lien searches on automobiles and properties. Conducting research on the Internet can be helpful. Utilize it to look for contact numbers and addresses. Call the motor vehicle departments with the vehicle identification number to identify liens on a vehicle.

Step 3

Hire an attorney to search for liens. Lawyers provide an adequate search for liens especially if the purchase is an expensive one. Thorough research will render a correct decision of whether or not a lien actually exists. Ask your attorney about title insurance and the benefits of it.