Philadelphia, PA asked in Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Hi how can I find out if my home has a lien on it

I'm trying to refinance my home bcuz of late taxes

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2 Lawyer Answers
Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi
Answered
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: go to you local court house and do a search, call your school district, local municipality and County and ask them if taxes are owed on your property.

Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz
Answered
  • Philadlephia, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Your mortgage company will not lend you the purchase price to buy the house unless it obtains an acceptable Mortgagee's Title Insurance Policy. This type of title policy insures the lender of the lien position of the mortgage on the house and will (absent unusual circumstances) require that the the mortgage is a first lien on the house. The title insurance company will perform an extensive search of the many places where liens and other title matters (such as easements and restrictions) against the house could exist, including searches of: the Department of Records (the name Philadelphia gives what other counties call the Office of the Reorder of Deeds); the prothonotary's office (where liens such as mechanics liens may be found); the records of Pennsylvania's Secretary of State (where Uniform Commercial Code liens (called "UCC-1 security interests") are filed; the records of the Orphan's Court; the Bankruptcy Court; will perform judgement and property and school tax lien searches; will make sure the legal description of the property is correct; and also review the actual deed for accuracy. and to make sure it is executed and acknowledged so as to be acceptable for recording. And the good news is that after the title company does all this work, they will be willing to issue to you, the buyer, an Owner's Title Insurance Policy, insuring that, once the deed is properly recorded (a task which the title company will perform), that you own the house, subject only to the exceptions raised in the Owner's Policy -- and the cost of issuing the Owner's Policy is at a much lower cost (called a simultaneous issue rate) than that charged the lender. So, to answer your question, if there s a tax lien filed against the house, the lender and its title company will let you know and will not provide you any funds to purchase the property until the liens are paid off.

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