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We are selling our home in Pennsylvania and the joint title…

Customer Question
Hello, we are selling...

Hello, we are selling our home in Pennsylvania and the joint title is coming back with a few liens against me. Is the creditor allowed to lien the home if the judgment is only in my name not joint?

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

Pennsylvania

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

The liens are 4 years old

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
12/14/2017
Lawyer: Thomas Swartz, Attorney replied 7 months ago
Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3,265
Experience: Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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Hello JACUSTOMER,

Yes, unfortunately a judgment creditor can put a lien on property even if that property is jointly held with someone who was not personally liable for the debt. The law allows this as a way for creditors to get debtors to pay off judgments by effectively preventing a property being sold until the debt is paid off.

Sorry if this is not the information you wanted to hear.

Thomas

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
But when searching this is what is coming up?In Pennsylvania, tenancy by the entireties protects the joint property of a married couple against the individual creditors of one spouse. For example, if a creditor obtains a judgment against the husband, the creditor cannot execute against, levy, or lien the real or personal property owned jointly by the husband and wife as tenants by the entireties. Protected joint property may include essentially anything owned jointly by the couple, including real estate (usually the family home), money in joint bank accounts, vehicles, and other items of personal property. This protection continues indefinitely, unless the tenancy by the entireties is broken through death, divorce, or some other action.
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 7 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 125,785
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only. Please feel free to ignore any phone service request, the expert does not send those unless asked by customer and they are sent by the site automatically.

I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR, as your previous contributor had to leave.

Actually, it depends how the title is held. Under PA law, a judgment entered against one spouse individually is not a lien against real property held by both spouses as tenants-by-the-entireties. See: Constitution Bank v. Olson, 423 Pa. Super. 134, 620 A.2d 1146, 1153 (1993). However, real property held as tenants-in-common is lienable by judgment creditors of the separate tenants. See: Wirtz v. Philips, 251 F. Supp. 789, 808 (W.D. Pa. 1965).

If they have placed a lien improperly as title is held as tenants by the entireties, your first step is to contact the party who placed the lien and ask them to remove the lien as it is improper and tell them if they refuse you will sue and seek all damages including lost sale opportunity and costs and attorney's fees.

If they refuse to remove the liens, then you would need to file a suit in court against each lienholder to vacate the invalid liens and you can then also seek money damages for improperly encumbering jointly held property for a separate debt.

If title is held as joint tenants in common though, the liens would be valid and would have to be paid through proceeds of the sale to be cleared.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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