A lien is a financial claim you hold against someone else's real property. Because of your claim, the owner of this property cannot sell or transfer title to the property to anyone else until your financial claim is satisfied. You may choose to enforce your lien by forcing foreclosure on the real property against which you levied the lien. Courts across the country have modernized the way they do business, and it is not unusual to have a lot of the procedures take place online. Learning how to file a lien online will save you a lot of time and, at the same time, prevent some of the mistakes that could invalidate your claim.
Log on to the clerk and recorder's website for the county where the property you wish to encumber with a lien is located. Because lien laws vary across the nation, it is imperative that you find out exactly which documents you need to file, the filing fees that are involved and also if the particular clerk and recorder's office will accept online lien filings in the first place.
Access the online filing option in the county where the real property you with to encumber with a lien is located.
Scroll through the document explanation and begin by entering your name or your company's name. If you are filing on behalf of a company, identify your name, relationship to the company and whether it is a sole proprietorship, corporation or limited liability company.
Supply the information about the owner of the property on which you are placing the lien. You need the full name, address and the relationship you and the owner have.
Input information about why you're filing for a lien on the property. In case of a mechanic's lien, specify in detail the total of the contract or invoice and how much was paid. In addition, when you file a lien online as a contractor, the clerk and recorder's office requires the dates on which you began work, stopped work and served an intent to file a lien.
Furnish information about the property on which you are placing the lien. You need the owner's full name and the legal description of the real property. The latter may be found on the website of the county assessor. If there is more than one owner to the property, you need to list all of them.
Print out copies of the completed lein documents. Read carefully through the online options to learn if the clerk sends out the documents to the parties named in the paperwork or if you are required to do so.
Pay the filing fee for the online lien with your credit card. Filing fees vary by state and county.
Serve the affected parties with the lien documents if necessary. Do so by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Do not overstate the amount of money that is owed. If and when you decide to enforce your lien, you must back up each penny to which you claim entitlement.
Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.