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Can a business landlord put a lien on a personal house of…

Can a business landlord...

Can a business landlord put a lien on a personal house of tenant that is in default on business rent. Tenant is C Corp with personal guarantee.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

North Carolina

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No

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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/11/2018
Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37,310
Experience: Attorney with 30 years of experience representing landlords and tenants.
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Does the landlord have a judgment against the guarantor?

Has a lien actually been filed on the guarantor's residence?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No and no. Tenant is not in default as of now.

Thank you for the additional information.

If the tenant is a C Corp then only the corporate assets would be subject to attachment for any breach in the lease.

With the addition of a personal guarantor, their personally owned assets are likewise at risk, pursuant to the guaranty they signed for the tenant's obligations under the lease.

The landlord would not have any summary rights to lien the home of the guarantor, though. They would need a judgment against the guarantor first.

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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 31,899
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I see that you've opted out your original expert.

Because the tenant signed a personal guarantee, the landlord has a right to sue him personally to collect any unpaid judgment. The landlord CANNOT put a lien on the house to ensure payment of the rent in advance unless the tenant specifically signed something that authorized it. You may want to check your lease and anything else you signed to be sure.

In the event that the tenant fails to pay, the landlord can choose to sue for the amounts owed. That judgement can be used to put a lien on the tenant's home. The landlord cannot place a lien without either that judgment or the tenant's written consent. North Carolina law provides that the first $35,000 of equity in a person's home is exempt from being taken to pay a debt. N.C. Stat., Section 1C-601. That means he cannot foreclose the lien unless you have more than $35,000 in equity. As a practical matter, most people don't try to foreclose a lien unless there's enough equity available to pay the judgment in full, because it costs money.

Have I answered your question? Please let me know if there is anything I can clarify or expand on for you.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you for the info. If the house was sold before a judgment or lien can the net profit on a house sell be used as collateral.
Also if the tenant declares bankruptcy, do all the judgements apply

The tenant could choose to use cash from the sale of a house as collateral by signing a document and putting the money into a separate account. They could also choose to use the house as collateral if they didn't want to have to sell it. If a tenant believed a judgment was coming, they could sell the house. The landlord would be allowed to file documents trying to block the sale.

Depending on the type of bankruptcy and how many assets the tenant has, it might allow him to discharge some or all of the judgment. Filing for bankruptcy would also automatically pause any legal action the landlord had taken against the tenant.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 31,899
Experience: Attorney
Verified
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