Perfecting and Enforcing Liens in Wisconsin

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Are you looking to file a property lien but not sure which type of lien is appropriate for your situation? If so, we have information for you! Continue reading to learn a little about several types of real estate liens and how they operate:

Mortgage Lien

Mortgage liens are constructed for the debt accepted to buy a home. They are specific to the subject property and are voluntary.

Judgment Lien

If you have obtained a civil action Judgment, you may pay a court fee to docket the Judgment in one or several counties, where it will act as a lien against property owned by the Judgment debtor in said county(ies) for ten years from the date Judgment was entered. Judgment liens can be either voluntary or involuntary.

Attachment Lien

An attachment lien is an involuntary lien placed against the property to prevent the owner from selling the property if they face liability exposure.

Estate Tax Lien

The government can issue a general, involuntary estate tax lien if estate taxes are not paid on property that is passed down after a death.

Corporate Franchise Tax Lien

Some states require a corporate franchise tax for the right to operate in the state. A general, involuntary corporate franchise tax lien could be filed if these taxes are not paid.

Federal Tax Lien

If a citizen fails to pay income tax, the federal government can file a federal tax lien against them.

Mechanic’s Lien / Construction Lien

When contractors or supplies are not paid on a construction project, they can file a mechanic’s lien on the property that was improved through their labor and/or services. This lien procedure provides a security interest in the property which can prevent the sale, refinancing, or other action on the property until the lien is satisfied.

Some different prerequisites and deadlines apply to prime contractors and subcontractors, so it’s important to consult with an attorney to ensure that your contracts, lien notices, and enforcement procedures are aligned with the statutory requirements. Having a clear and enforceable lien process in place can provide both security and an expedited procedure for collecting outstanding balances.

Vendor’s Lien / Vendee’s Lien

Land contracts are complex seller-financed alternatives to a traditional mortgage. Property purchased under a land contract may give rise to a Vendor’s Lien (seller) or a Vendee’s Lien (buyer). In addition to foreclosure processes, these liens can act to secure the subject property, repossess property, and/or enforce the covenants of the contract.

Municipal Utility Lien

If someone fails to pay their municipal utilities, such as water or electricity, the municipality can file an involuntary municipal utility lien against the property.

If you have any questions about what liens are available to you, or want to ensure that your lien-perfecting procedures are enforceable and compliant with the statutory requirements, contact our team at Walden Neitzke & Kuhary, S.C. at 262-518-9805 and we can help you navigate these complicated issues.

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