Liens are a common part of property ownership.? For example, many people have one or more mortgage liens on their personal residences.? There are also tax, mechanic?s, and judgment liens that can be levied on a property. When there is a lien on a property, it is recorded in connection with the title. In most cases, once the property owner has satisfied the condition of the lien, and follows the correct procedures its removal, it should no longer be attached to the property.? However, sometimes a lien may be recorded in error or remain when it should have been removed.? Here is what you can do about an inaccurately recorded lien on your Arizona property:
In Arizona, ARS ? 12-1101, allows a party with a legal interest in a property to file a case against anyone who claims to have an adverse interest or superior right to the property.? This case is called an action to quiet title. The filing party is basically asking that the property?s title be cleared and that a judgment be issued keeping the other parties, including lien holders, from making a claim on the property. However, ARS ?12-1103(A) provides that if a ?defendant appears disclaims all right and title adverse to plaintiff, he shall recover his costs.? In other words, if you sue, and the lienholder agrees there is an error and renounces their rights to any interests in the title that are opposed to yours, they can recover their expenses from you. If you want to circumvent this situation, ARS ? 12-1103(B) provides that you can send a party who has an apparent adverse title a demand letter and give them a specific amount of time to comply with your request to stand down.? If the party does not comply, they will not be entitled to costs if they later disclaim their interest. ?This notice also allows for the possibility that attorney?s fees can be assessed by the court.
It can also be that a lien has been wrongfully attached to a property because of another party’s misrepresentations. In this instance, ARS ?33-420 provides recourse for the injured property owner to remove the improper lien and seek damages, reasonable attorney?s fees, and their legal costs, up to a certain amount. ?The injured party may also be able to seek damages if the other party fails to respond to a demand letter within 20 days.
Having an inaccurately recorded lien on your property can be problematic and complicated to resolve. The good news is that with the help of an experienced Arizona real estate attorney, you may be able to address this issue efficiently.? Laura B. Bramnick is an experienced Arizona real estate attorney who has the skills and expertise to advise you regarding your property title issues and help you determine your next steps.? If you are seeking an exceptional, client-driven real estate lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona and throughout the State of Arizona, contact Laura B. Bramnick to schedule your consultation.