The title records for your home are what ensure your legal right to ownership and access. When there are issues with your title, your investment in the property could be at risk. Many homeowners in New Jersey have voluntary liens on the title of their property. Their mortgage and their home equity lines of credit are liens that they agree to place on the title for access to financial resources.
However, there are scenarios in which other people could obtain a lien against your property without your consent. One of the most common involuntary liens is a mechanic’s lien. An individual or business that performs work on your property or provides materials for a construction or remodeling project can potentially obtain a lien against the property if you do not pay them in full for the work that they do.
Still, there may be a very reasonable explanation for why there is an unpaid balance due after completing a project. Can you potentially prevent someone from securing an involuntary lien against your primary residence?
You can defend your ownership rights in court
When a professional or business wants a lien against your primary residence, they will need to file paperwork with the courts. You will have an opportunity to respond, especially if there is crucial information that they have omitted from their paperwork, such as their unapproved substitution of different materials that diminished the value of the finished product or substandard work.
Other times, you might actually have proof that you either have paid the amount in full or settled on payment arrangements before the other party abruptly took you to court. Provided that you have documentation to support your claims, you can potentially prevent or remove a lien from your property.
Title issues require quick responses
A lien against your property could complicate the process if you try to sell or refinance it later. In some cases, it might even lead to the contractor or business forcing the sale of the home to compel you to pay them. Rather than ignoring a mechanic’s lien until it causes actual issues for you, it is likely better to be proactive and protect your ownership interest in your home as soon as you learn about the lien request.
Educating yourself about New Jersey real estate laws can help you protect your investment in your home.