There is a lein on the property. What do we do now to close?

Janet (Guest) on Monday, September 24 2012, 11:18 AM
While preparing to close on my non-mortgaged home in Newton, the buyer’s title search found a lien on the property. Apparently the closing attorney had not paid back the monies owed by previous owner. What do we do now in order to close?
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    Replied by Attorney David Beliveau on Wednesday, September 26 2012, 09:25 AM · Hide · #1
    Since your question does not specify what type of lien was found on the property, I will answer in general terms. Before one can have a closing or refinance on one’s house, there needs to be a title examination performed to confirm that the title to the house is clean and free of all liens, with the exception of the mortgage(s) which will be paid off as part of the refinance. If the title shows an outstanding lien of record of the prior owner, one would need to contact the attorney who handled the closing for the sale to determine whether the lien was paid off or not. If the lien was paid, then the lien holder needs to be contacted so that it can prepare a release/discharge which needs to be recorded at the Registry of Deeds in order to remove the lien off the title. If the lien has not been paid off, then the closing attorney has to explain why it was not paid off during the closing. If the matter cannot be resolved with the attorney, then hopefully you have purchased an Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance so that the title insurance company may potentially fight the title issue for you.
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