searching title and lien holders on tax sales and foreclosures

5 Replies

is there a leading software or other service for searching titles for lien holders when buying tax sales? i have a list of an upcoming tax sale and need to understand who are the various lien holders on each property. thanks in advance. 

What county and state are you in.  That will help people give you more specific and helpful answers.

General answer is that you need to be able to look these up yourself.  You might start at the county courthouse and ask the clerks to help you do one, then you do the rest yourself.   You may also be able to find out from them who the online providers are, if there are in for that county.   Then figure out if the online services are worth it.

You might also try discussing with a title company to do the work for you.   What I have found though is they are too slow and too expensive to do too many lien searches and sometimes not all that skilled in helping you figure out areas of concern on a property you don't own.

You might check out a site like https://www.titlesearchdirect.com/ and see if that helps.

@Jeff Manning At the county level, consider going to the source for this information which is the local courthouse clerk of courts where these records are stored.  Some courthouses have these records available online.  When a lien is brought up for legal proceedings, often the records are retrieved from the local county courthouse.  

When conducting title searches online, these companies are accessing the local courthouse records and offering them to the public.  However, the age and thus accuracy of these records offered by third parties online should always be questioned since their data is copied from the source.

Finally, there is another type of lien record which is not available at the county courthouse nor is it available online!  In fact this lien supersedes even tax sale liens and must be paid or negotiated!  The lien is an IRS tax lien!  You have to give the IRS due process notice of your tax lien purchase to start to insulate yourself from any possible issues.

Originally posted by @Bruce Lynn :

What county and state are you in.  That will help people give you more specific and helpful answers.

General answer is that you need to be able to look these up yourself.  You might start at the county courthouse and ask the clerks to help you do one, then you do the rest yourself.   You may also be able to find out from them who the online providers are, if there are in for that county.   Then figure out if the online services are worth it.

You might also try discussing with a title company to do the work for you.   What I have found though is they are too slow and too expensive to do too many lien searches and sometimes not all that skilled in helping you figure out areas of concern on a property you don't own.

You might check out a site like https://www.titlesearchdirect.com/ and see if that helps.

Has anyone used Titlesearchdirect? It's definitely cost-effective. Just wondering about the thoroughness.

Originally posted by @Reuben Gathright :

@Jeff Manning At the county level, consider going to the source for this information which is the local courthouse clerk of courts where these records are stored.  Some courthouses have these records available online.  When a lien is brought up for legal proceedings, often the records are retrieved from the local county courthouse.  

When conducting title searches online, these companies are accessing the local courthouse records and offering them to the public.  However, the age and thus accuracy of these records offered by third parties online should always be questioned since their data is copied from the source.

Finally, there is another type of lien record which is not available at the county courthouse nor is it available online!  In fact this lien supersedes even tax sale liens and must be paid or negotiated!  The lien is an IRS tax lien!  You have to give the IRS due process notice of your tax lien purchase to start to insulate yourself from any possible issues.

Oh, so does this mean that once you buy it, you have to submit notice? Is that done online? Also how do contact the IRS ahead of time to assess whether there is a lein on record?

Thank you!

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