How Long Can a Lien Stay On My Property?

What is a Lien?

In a court case when a verdict or court-approved settlement is final, a judgment is entered in the court records. If payment is part of that judgment, and the party owing payment doesn't pony up, the creditor may record the judgment with the county clerk in any county where the debtor owns (or may, in future own) property. That county record of judgment is a lien. In simple terms, the creditor attaches the court-imposed debt to property owned by the debtor and the law assures that the debt is paid to the creditor when the property is sold. A property lien in Pennsylvania will remain attached to the debtor's property for five years. The lien remains in effect until the debt i
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Can I Lose my House to Eminent Domain?

"No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation" (Constitution of the United States, Fifth Article of Amendment). The legal definition of "public use" can be very broad. For example, the Pennsylvania Code allows public utility companies to use eminent domain and to delegate the taking to pipeline operators. That means that, under Commonwealth law, a private company can exercise an immense government power! Anytime you are faced with a "taking" under eminent domain, you need an experienced lawye
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Why Squatters have Rights to your Property

"Squatters" are persons who occupy a place without permission. Squatting is based on "adverse possession", an idea which encourages the use of an abandoned property. "Squatter's rights" allow the use of someone else's property if there is no attempt by the owner to get rid of them. You can actually lose ownership of your property to a squatter. To protect your rights, you may need a lawyer, a title agent and a real estate agent; in C. James Vendetti, you have all three.  

Legal Issues

Squatting is trespassing, which is illegal, but Pennsylvania law on this, like so many
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Real Estate Attorney vs. Title Company: What’s the difference?

  Among title company functions are:
  1. Title searches, certifying the title (ownership) is legitimate and free of encumbrances.
  2. Title insurance, protecting lender or owner against lawsuits or claims that might arise from problems a title search can't uncover, including forged deeds, missing heirs or clerical errors.
  3. Acting as agent for the parties in closing: maintaini
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Can You Sell a Home that Has a Lien on it in Pennsylvania?

A  lien is a claim someone places on your property because (they claim) you owe that person money; having a lien can make selling your home more difficult, but not impossible if you have the right real estate attorney.   You Can't Solve a Problem in Ignorance Before listing your home, do a title search, that will show any property liens outstanding. Don't let your buyer's real estate agent find it; that could kill your sale immediately. If you feel the lien was imposed in erro
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3 Most Important Questions to Ask a Real Estate Attorney

You don't really need a real estate agent to buy or sell a house. They provide legitimate services, but for-sale-by-owner or through an attorney are increasingly popular options. Regardless of which way you go, an experienced real estate attorney can save you huge amounts of grief and aggravation down the road. Before choosing that attorney, ask three vital questions: 1. How Much of Your practice is Real Estate Related? Lots of lawyers have a "door law" practice — they handle whatever comes through the door. For simple cases, this isn't a problem but when challenges arise — and challenges arise frequently! — Do you want the new kids on the block or the chairman of the board? Yeah, the new kids are enthusiastic but 'old blue eyes' has been chart-topping long en
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10 Ways to Holiday-fy Your Home for the Holidays

Tis the season once again! Is your home decorated for the Holidays? If not, we’ve got some ideas to help you get started. 1. Stockings If you have children, you know having stockings on the chimney or hanging on the wall is part of the Christmas tradition. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t change it up a little this year. Whether you are single or have children, you can upgrade your stockings with new ones. Having a new stocking with your name on it can put a smile on your face this Christmas! 2. Christmas Ornaments We all love decorating the Christmas tree with beautiful ornaments. Make your own Christmas ornaments this year to add as a keepsake. We always put up those ornaments that mean something special to us, so make a Christmas ornam
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Downsizing 101: Moving Toward Minimalist Real Estate

The move to tiny house living or a minimalist-type lifestyle can be very beneficial and enjoyable, but getting there can be a bit of a challenge. Many people find that decluttering their lives, selling their home, and downsizing is easier said than done, so we wanted to provide some useful tips to help you out.   First, Take Inventory Take a spreadsheet or actual pen and paper and make four headings:
  • Must Have - important items that cannot be replaced, such as family photos, important documents, and po
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Knowing the Right Time to Sell Your House

Selecting the time to sell your home is not a task many look forward to. While most people don’t plan on living in their first home forever - or second or maybe even third - it can sometimes kind of feel like you’re breaking up with a longtime significant other and ending things can be way easier said than done. So how do you know when the time is right to move forward and sell your house? Continue reading to find out some indicators that it is indeed time and how we can help make it less stressful and a better experience overall.   You’ve Outgrown Your Home
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When Do You Really Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

With the transfer of real estate, there are definitely times when an attorney is not necessary and many transactions are completed without the assistance of a real estate lawyer. However, certain transactions are just too costly, complicated or stressful to attempt to complete it on your own. So today we bring you a few situations that should you find yourself facing, you should consult a real estate lawyer.   Is A Real Estate Attorney Required?   Unlike some states, Pennsylvania doesn’t require that you involve a lawyer in your house-selling efforts. However, there are multiple circumstances where you may want to seriously considerRead More