There are several cost-free ways to find out if a property has any liens, including searching official county records online or in person and inquiring about the property at a title company. A property's official records should list any liens on the property as well as the lien holder's name.
Property lien information is available to the public. Most counties have a website for their county recorder, clerk or tax assessor. These websites often allow users to search property records online by using information such as a property's address or the owner's name. If real estate records are not available online, it is necessary to visit the county's official recorder, clerk or assessor's office in order to inquire about and view a property's records. Real Estate title companies can also be of assistance in searching for property lien information.
Property liens are voluntary or involuntary. Mortgage and construction liens are voluntary liens. Tax liens, judgement liens and child support liens are examples of involuntary liens. In the event of a divorce, a judge sometimes grants one spouse a lien on a property in order to protect their interest in it. Properties with liens on them are not usually sold without any applicable liens being cleared beforehand.