Profile picture for goodvibes1228

How do i find out on my own if there are liens on a property i want to purchase?

I am looking into buying a foreclosured two bedroom condo in New Jersey, is there a web site i can go to and find out if there are any liens on the property?  Many thanks I love zillow for their education i get.  
  • June 19 2014 - US
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for Connie Klemme
as is means they will not make repairs that you find during your inspection period. so the purpose of the inspection period is to make sure that you don't want to back out not to provide a repair list for the seller.
they still need to convey it to you with clean, clear title.  to repeat what I said before about title insurance.

there is a GREATER risk of a title issue on a foreclosure than there is on a regular sale.   there is no way I'd ever consider buying a foreclosure without getting title insurance.  
title search isn't something you have to do before making an offer it's typically something that is done as part of the contract process and then you close once title is determined to be clean/clear (typical contract has a lot of detail language regarding this)..  - are you making an offer on a listed foreclosure or an auction?   if it is an auction you'll definitely want to read the details and terms of the auctions.  I have some listed that I've done that even though it sells at auction they still do the full title search and convey title clear of leins, but there are some auctions that are like what Mack described.  Definitely need to see if New Jersey is a lein theory state or not.  but regardless....title insurance is HIGHLY recommended   - especially on a foreclosure.   
  • June 21 2014
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The records are kept with the county recorder the property is located in. Most counties make these records available on their county website. With over 20 years experience in buying foreclosures I would suggest that you request this information from your local title company. It is generally a free service provided. I have watched on several occasions where a buyer was the successful bidder on a property and found out after they bought it that it had a senior or first mortgage still in place and was actually the 2nd mortgage being foreclosed on. (In a foreclosure or trustee sale all junior liens and mortgages are wiped out but senior mortgages remain in place.
  • June 19 2014
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That may not be enough. There may be special assessments in place against the unit by the HOA, and I would check to see if New Jersey is a statutory lien state; here in Washington, the HOA has a statutory lien for six months' delinquent dues, meaning that when you buy it at auction, you're also buying the obligation to pay those back dues.

All the best,

  • June 19 2014
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You can access the county recorder-clerk's records,  Not sure what county in New Jersey or I could have posted a link.
  • June 19 2014
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"if the foreclosure does have leins on the property and you are buying it "As IS" does that mean you need to pay any back taxes or liens on the property. "

As is generally relates to condition only as long as you use an escrow company to clear liens and transfer title. If you are buying the house outside of escrow, I make sure that your contract requires the seller to clear all liens or to at least disclose them.

You can get a preliminary title report to see what liens are on now, but please know that not all liens may be showing up when you run it. Escrow periods are a way to make sure that all liens are settled before the property transfers.
  • June 19 2014
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Profile picture for goodvibes1228
if the foreclosure does have leins on the property and you are buying it "As IS" does that mean you need to pay any back taxes or liens on the property.  I do have a great RE attorney i But i have not asked him yet, as we have not gotten to that point in the purchase yet, i am considering the offer at the moment.  Many thanks for your time and effort. 
  • June 19 2014
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Profile picture for Connie Klemme
County Courthouse is your best place to start. Even if they have a website you may still want to call. If you decide to buy most agents will strongly recommend that you use a title company and have a professional title search done and purchase title insurance. Most contacts assume this as a normal phase of the purchase process
  • June 19 2014
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