There are three types of liens that can be placed on your property:
- Consensual Lien
- Statutory Lien
- Judgment Lien
Consensual Lien: A consensual lien is one created voluntarily by the owner of the property encumbered by the lien. The most common consensual lien is a residential mortgage, where the home buyer consents to a bank taking a security interest in the home when a mortgage is obtained. In Washington, the bank records a Deed of Trust evidencing the security interest.
The second most common consensual lien, is where the home owner pledges the property as collateral for a loan. For example, a second mortgage or line of credit. This also may include a deed of trust to secure a promissory note for a debt to help in financing a business.
It is important to note that the homestead does not apply to consensual liens. In other words, a home owner cannot claim a homestead exemption to protect against the foreclosure of a mortgage.
Statutory Lien: There are several property liens that arise by Washington statutes, these include but are not limited to:
- Mechanic’s and Materialman’s Lien – This type of lien arises when a contractor, subcontractor, or material supplier performs work on property and is not paid. More information about filing a mechanic’s lien in Washington can be found here.
- Tax Lien – Local, state, or federal governments may place a lien against property for unpaid taxes, including property, income, and estate taxes.
- Condominium Association Lien – In Washington State, condominium associations have a statutory lien for assessments, which in some instances has priority over other secured claims.
- Landlord’s Lien – A landlord’s lien for rent is set forth in RCW 60.72.010. The lien for rent is upon “personal property which has been used or kept on the rented premises by the tenant…”
Judgment Lien: A judgment lien arises as a result of a lawsuit. A creditor can record the creditor’s judgment against the debtor’s property. The creditor can proceed with a foreclosure of the judgment lien to take the debtor’s property if the judgment remains unpaid.