Understand why mechanics’ liens are considered secret liens.
Liens, defects, and encumbrances affecting real property are generally discoverable from a search of public land records. If, in fact, impairment of the title of the purchaser from pre-closing mortgages, consensual liens, and other statutory liens is avoidable from a timely search of the public land records, why is this practical, preventative step not also the case for mechanics’ liens? State laws providing for the attachment and priority of mechanics liens vary considerably. In many states, mechanics’ lien laws dictate that prospective real estate investors and homeowners face an ever-present potential risk of loss occasioned by lien claims when acquiring real estate in which work on the site occurred, regardless of whether such work or its non-payment is known or suspected by the purchaser. This white paper reviews the wide reach of mechanics’ liens and discusses the impact of remote online notarization.
Duane H. Wunsch
Fidelity National Title Group, Inc.
- Wisconsin State Counsel for Fidelity National Title Group
- Over 30 years of experience, including searching and examining titles, closing transactions, and handling title insurance claims
- Member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Bar Association
- Past President of the Wisconsin Land Title Association
- J.D. degree, Emory University; B.A degree, UW - Madison
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