Saturday, August 06, 2005

Notice of Involuntary Lien in California

Question: I reside with my mother in California (house is in her and my brothers name). One of my creditors has sent me a Notice of Involuntary Lien. When I contacted the law office working on this case, I was informed that a lien as been placed on the house I reside in. I didn't know it was legally possible to have a lien placed on something that isn't in my name. Is this right or is this a scare tactic?

Answer: Although you did not specify if the the creditor had actually filed a lawsuit against you, it is mostly likely a scare tactic. Subject to a very limited except, it is generally illegal to record an involuntary lien on another person's property without first filing lawsuit and obtaining a judgment or court order.

If the law office did send you a Notice of Involuntary Lien as a scare tactic, this is most likely a violation of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The law firm might be liable for damages, including emotional distress and attorney's fees.

If the law firm did obtain a judgment against you, they may have recorded an Abstract of Judgment. Recording an Abstract of Judgment does put a lien on real property in your name. Unless you are also on title to your mother's house, she should have nothing to worry about.

About the Author: Carl H. Starrett II, has been a licensed attorney since 1993 and is a member in good standing with the California State Bar and the San Diego County Bar Association. Mr. Starrett practices in the areas of bankruptcy, business litigation, construction, corporate planning and debt collection.

8 comments:

J said...

I recently received a notice of involuntary lien from the law office for an unpaid credit card debt, but I'm not sure what can be the best way to make a settlement for it. What can this lien do if I don't have any property?

Anonymous said...

My husband & I held a joint account. We did go to small claims & lost. We then received the lien notice - one for each of us. Which one of us is liable? we both have separate properties in our names.

Carl Starrett said...

If you both are on the judgment, then you are both liable.

Anonymous said...

I received an involuntary lien from a loan i took out to get a car i have try to contact there offices but no answer will they try to take anything else under my name or just the car that i took out with the loan?

jesus said...

My mother recently an involuntary lien. We tried to make a payment plan and the company claiming the lien did not except. What else can I we do now?

Anonymous said...

I had a business which was incorperated a crediitor put a involuntary lien on my house. Can they put a lien on personal when I was inncorperated. Is this something I can file in a corperate BK and if so is there a time limit? What is the best way to handle this the business no longer exsist.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

I received a voluntary lien from CitiBank for real property. I am a renter and do not own any property. They had threatened to sue me before, I agreed to pay them a monthly amount to avoid court, I became unemployed-couldn't pay them and stopped. This involuntary lien showed up. I thought they would have to summon me to court again and get a judgement to do this!

Anonymous said...

I received a notice of involuntary lien, resulting from an unpaid credit card debt. I am 72, have a reverse mortgage, and only income is from my SSI which is under $600/mo. There is no extra money for anything except property taxes, home owner's insurance, utilities, food. I don't know what options there are to go from here.