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Mar 25, 2024 PropStream

How to Conduct a Property Lien Search with PropStream’s Quick List

What is a lien on a property?

A lien on a property is a claim against the property to ensure the satisfaction of a debt.

In real estate, identifying financial distress in homeowners is a chance for professionals to provide valuable help.

One key indicator of financial difficulty is the presence of liens on a property, signaling unresolved debts and potential challenges for the homeowner. As a real estate professional, identifying these homeowners allows for a unique opportunity to lend a helping hand. 

PropStream makes uncovering properties burdened with liens easy and accessible with a convenient “Liens” Quick List and other supporting filters. In this blog, we will walk you through how to use PropStream’s lien filters, helping you facilitate a mutually beneficial transaction – aiding homeowners while securing a promising deal or listing for yourself.

Step 1: Choose Your Search Region

how to search for liens on property

Before you can apply specific search filters regarding homeowner situations, you’ll need to narrow down your search region.

Search by county, zip code, exact address, or APN!

Step 2: Choose the "Liens" Quick List

02_Choose Liens Quicklst

To apply the “Liens” Quick List, navigate to the “Filter” dropdown and click the “Quick List Choices” dropdown.

Step 3: Add Supporting Filters to Further Target Your Search

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While the filter combinations are endless, you may want to select some filters specific to liens to support this search. Here are a few ideas:

  • Specific Lien Type (e.g., tax, HOA, mechanics, utility, solar, child support, other)
  • Lien Recording Date
  • Lien Amount

Psst! These can be found under Lien/Bankruptcy/Divorce Status in the filter menu.

Step 4: Build Your Liens Lead List

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Once you’ve narrowed down some leads with property liens, create a new marketing list to save them to. 

Pro Tip: Want to pursue several different lien types? Make multiple lists!

Try PropStream for 7 Days FREE to See These Filters in Action

Ready to start your property lien search? PropStream’s got you covered!

Activate your 7-day free trial today to try these filters on for size before committing to a full subscription.

Psst! Each 7-day free trial includes 50 complimentary leads.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a lien on a house?

A lien on a house is a legal claim or interest that a lender or other party has in a property as collateral for a debt or obligation.

What is a tax lien on a house?

If a homeowner fails to pay property taxes, the local government may place a tax lien on the property. This gives the government the right to collect unpaid taxes by selling the property.

What is a mechanics lien on a house?

A mechanic's lien (AKA a construction lien or a contractor's lien) is a legal claim against a property filed by contractors, subcontractors, or suppliers who haven't been paid for work or materials they provided to improve that property. This type of lien is a way for these parties to secure their right to payment for the services or materials they contributed to the construction, renovation, or repair of a property.

What happens when a lien is put on your house?

The consequences of having a lien on your house can vary depending on the type of lien and the laws in your jurisdiction. Here are some general outcomes:

  • Difficulty Selling: Having a lien on your property can make it challenging to sell the house to the average buyer. This is why a property with a lien on it can be an appealing option for real estate investors looking for deals if the amount they’d pay for the lien is less than what they stand to profit from the property once they rent it out or flip it.
  • Foreclosure Risk: Certain types of liens, such as mortgage or tax liens, may carry the risk of foreclosure if the underlying debt is not addressed.
  • Lien Settlement: If you have the means, you can settle a lien by paying the outstanding debt. Or, if the lien was invalid, you can challenge it.
  • Credit Impact: While the lien itself may not directly impact your credit score, the associated financial difficulties leading to the lien (such as missed mortgage payments) can affect your credit.
  • Limited Refinancing Options: If you plan to refinance your mortgage, a lien can complicate the process. 

Who can put a lien on a property?

Several parties can put a lien on a property, with common ones being:

  • Mortgage lenders
  • Contractors and subcontractors
  • Homeowners Associations (HOAs)
  • Judgment creditors
  • Tax authorities
  • Creditors
  • Utility companies
  • Government agencies responsible for child support enforcement 
  • Solar energy providers

How much does it cost to remove a lien on property?

To remove a lien, you typically need to satisfy the underlying debt. This might involve paying off the outstanding amount, entering into a settlement with the lienholder, or following a specific legal process to challenge the validity of the lien.

How to find a lien on a property?

With PropStream’s Quick List and supporting search filters, you can easily find any of these lien types on properties in your search region:

  • Tax lien
  • HOA lien
  • Mechanics lien
  • Utility lien
  • Solar lien
  • Child support lien


Published by PropStream March 25, 2024