Who Registered the Property Lien?

geo1You worked hard to land your deal and know you are excited to get the property sold. Now it’s due diligence time. You not only need to research the property, you also you need to look into your client. There is no better time to do so than at the very beginning!

You turn to your tools and begin looking at the property, sales history, sales comps and other initial checks and balances. Check. Check. Check. Things are looking good.

Now it’s time to vet the financial positioning on the property. The financial information on the property details report revealed that the client has 3 mortgages registered! Could these be a sign that the client has an underlying financial problem?

You decide to run a Parcel Register* and search and the worst outcome happens – there are 2 liens registered against the property. One lien indicates a company name and the other an individual’s name. You ask your client and they have no idea what you’re talking about. It is time to dig deeper. At this point, a consent for third parties to disclose information to you makes sense because further investigation will be needed and you don’t want to be blocked by third party privacy concerns.

Suddenly, you feel that you have been launched into a game of Deal or No Deal. Depending on what is potentially owed on the liens, there could be no equity left to pay you. What started out as promising has now become potentially problematic.

You have to find out who registered the lien and the amount required to get it discharged. The only way to find out who registered the lien is to get the details about the individual who registered it – this would be your starting point.

At this point, you have to go back to your tools. In the GeoWarehouse Store you can use the registration number of the lien to request an instrument image. This document will reveal the party who registered the lien, which is usually the lawyer who represents the person who is owed, as well as their contact information.

Now you can write to the other side to request what would be required to discharge the lien. Do not count on the amount registered on title, as the balance could be greater. If your client has not been making payments or the lien registrant has not been successful in collecting then expect new interest, potential penalties, legal fees and discharge fees to get the lien removed.

A registered lien can cause big problems throughout the process, and too much money owing elsewhere can lead to a client’s inability to pay you – which is always to be avoided. GeoWarehouse can help you identify issues at the very beginning.

Find out more by visiting www.geowarehouse.ca.

*An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.