Voluntary Liens Vs. Involuntary Liens
Voluntary liens, also called consensual liens, are created when you agree to use your property as collateral to secure a loan. For example, if you financed the purchase of your home with a mortgage, you gave the mortgage lender a voluntary lien on the property. Mortgages are the most common type of lien.
Involuntary or non-consensual liens are granted to a creditor without your agreement, and they are serious. You do not have a clear title with involuntary liens, which complicates selling your property. They can also lead to a lienholder filing to foreclose*. There are two types of involuntary liens: judicial and statutory liens.
Statutory liens are granted by state or federal law. Common statutory liens are mechanic’s liens, IRS liens and property tax liens.
People like contractors and suppliers can use mechanic’s liens to collect payment when they work on your property. Texas is one of only a few states that includes the mechanic’s lien in its Constitution. Therefore, in addition to the statutory mechanic’s lien, Texas has a constitutional lien.
The self-executing constitutional lien requires a contract with the property owner for construction “upon the buildings,” like a general contractor. The statutory lien is available to subcontractors, designers and others not covered by the constitutional lien, who will need to file and give notice for the lien to go into effect.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Liens
One of the more serious lien types, IRS liens attach to all the assets you have or acquire during the lien. Continued failure to pay federal income taxes can lead to an IRS levy, which permits the IRS to take money out of your financial accounts, garnish wages and seize and sell your real and personal property, like your home and vehicle.
Property Tax Liens
Did you know that every year on January 1st, a tax lien attaches to each taxable property in Texas to ensure payment? Property tax liens only become a problem when they are left unpaid. Fortunately, property tax loans are available to help you avoid or remove an outstanding tax lien from your property. Getting residential or commercial property tax help before becoming delinquent is vital to preventing steep penalties and interest accruals.
Like IRS liens, judicial liens aren’t limited to real estate – they can also be placed on money. Judicial liens include child support liens.
Before this type of lien can be granted, someone must win a lawsuit against you that goes unpaid. The creditor can attempt to satisfy the debt by seizing bank accounts, garnishing wages or placing a lien on your property, known as a judgment lien. Judgment liens on property are granted based on the court’s judgment against you.