Go to the county clerk’s office or log-on to www.courthousedirect.com
There are two categories of liens: Voluntary and Involuntary
Voluntary Liens are placed against a property or individual because the owner voluntarily pledged the real or personal property as consideration for a mortgage or for another obligation.
These include but are not limited to:
Involuntary Liens & Judgments known as Adverse filings are placed against the property or individual when a borrower defaults on an obligation to pay a lender or governmental entity or because the party lost a lawsuit and the Plaintiff is giving notice to the public.
Note: To effectively research liens it is important to familiarize yourself with the abbreviations in each county and to understand the definitions and terminology.
Search the Real Property/Official Records Grantee Index a/k/a Reverse Index a/k/a Indirect Index and search the Grantor Index a/k/a Direct Index; enter the correct names of the parties; Last Name/space/First Name or the name of the Company.
Note: Voluntary Liens are typically filed in the Grantor Index and Involuntary Liens are usually filed in the Grantee index. The exceptions are Federal & State Tax Liens.
Example 2.1: When researching Robert Jones start with JONES R; the result will be all filings with JONES where the letter R is the start of the first name; after eliminating those possibilities then search JONES ROBERT)
Example 2.2: When researching “Holder Machine Company” start with HOLDER M; the result will be all filings for “HOLDER MACHINE”. The word “machine” may have several abbreviations; “HOLDER MACHINE” may be indexed as HOLDER MACH.; HOLDER MCH.; HOLDER MA.; HOLDER MCN or may not be abbreviated at all
*IMPORTANT NOTE: WHEN LOOKING FOR A NAME IN A COUNTY CLERK’S INDEX LESS IS MORE. THE LESS YOU ENTER THE MORE LIKELY YOU ARE TO FIND THE INFORMATION YOU ARE SEEKING.
Look for document Type and Names of the parties you are searching.
Note: If the Lien involves a specific piece of Real Property then it is likely the clerk will reference the property description on the indexed record. There are many documents filed in the County Clerk’s office that are not involved in a Lien or Judgment search. These documents may sometimes be used as a clue or as a shortcut for finding liens, judgments, or the party’s legal names.
After determining that a lien was filed, look for the same parties in the Grantee Index to determine if a Release of the Lien or Release of Judgment has been filed.
Search for any Extensions, Modifications or other agreements between the parties that may effect the lien status.
Order document from CourthouseDirect.com
Read the document to determine: