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New Mexico Lien Search

A lien search helps prospective buyers and sellers determine whether a particular property is free of encumbrances. It specifically inquires and reports on the status of that property. Lien searches help to check if an asset has any liens, legal proceedings, or bankruptcy proceedings attached to it. Individuals conducting a lien search typically review various documents, such as share certificates, leases, and property deeds.

What is a Lien in New Mexico

A lien in New Mexico confers a legal right on a creditor over a debtor's property. An asset subject to a lien acts as collateral, safeguarding a creditor's interests. Liens are placed to make a property difficult to transfer since no one would buy a property with someone’s right attached to it. There are different ways one can establish a lien, either voluntarily or involuntarily. 

Timelines apply to liens in New Mexico; creditors have a specific window of time to file and enforce a lien. In any event, liens can only be enforced by a court order issued by New Mexico courts.

Types of Liens in New Mexico

Different kinds of liens cover different areas. Some liens are related to property, while others are focused on taxes, public funds, and hospitals. The kind of lien imposed on someone's property would depend on the kind of debt they owe. Different types of lien include:

  • general judgment lien, 
  • tax lien, mechanics lien, 
  • mortgage lien,
  • IRS lien, 
  • child support lien, 
  • Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) lien,

Liens may also be put into wider categories, such as general or specific liens. General liens tend to cover a debtor's assets, whereas specific liens are limited to a particular property. 

General Liens in New Mexico

A general lien gives an individual a right to all of a debtor’s property as collateral for a debt. It is not extinguished until the debtor pays what is owed or performs an obligation. If not, a creditor can choose to auction any of his existing property. A mechanic’s lien is a good example of a general lien.

Specific Liens

A specific lien typically applies to one specific property owned by the debtor. This property is usually set out in a contract between the creditor and the debtor. The property subject to the lien can be anything from a car to real estate. Mechanic and mortgage liens are good examples of a specific lien.

Consensual vs Involuntary Liens

Aside from general and specific liens, liens are divided into consensual (or voluntary) and involuntary liens. Voluntary liens are liens where the lienor agrees to their property being subjected to a lien. A mortgage lien is an example of a voluntary lien. On the contrary, involuntary liens are imposed without the debtor's consent or against the will. They are filed without notice to the debtor. Involuntary liens are sometimes statutorily imposed. That is, they manifest by operation of law. Tax liens are great examples of involuntary liens. 

Statutory Liens

In New Mexico, a statutory lien is developed by operation of law. It is a legal lien placed on a certain person. They typically take action as a result of breaking the law, like not paying taxes.

What is a Tax Lien in New Mexico

The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department is responsible for filing and recording tax liens against individuals who do not make their state-mandated tax payments. These tax payments could be state-imposed income taxes, property taxes, or other taxes. A lien may harm the debtor's credit score, so they are always incentivized to clear it. A lien is released by the state when the debtor has paid their taxes.

Also, the debtor's real estate is subject to property tax liens. The state can seize the property of a property tax debtor, which may result in foreclosure. The Property Tax Division of the Taxation and Revenue Department can also sell properties belonging to tax delinquents in a public auction following three (3) years of accumulated payments.

In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for tax liens is ten (10) years. The Taxation and Revenue Department can request a full or partial lien release when a delinquent pays a sizable portion of their overdue taxes. According to New Mexico state rules, a debtor has paid their tax debt ten (10) years after the department first filed the claim.

Are Tax Liens Public Records?

In New Mexico, tax liens are filed with the county clerk's office in the county where the taxpayer is located, and they become public records. Generally speaking, liens are public records until they are fulfilled or released by the creditor. However, the precise period that a lien becomes private may differ based on the nature of the lien and state legal requirements.

New Mexico Tax Lien Search

In New Mexico, anyone interested in conducting a tax lien search can contact the clerk's office in the county where the property is situated. The county clerk's office is responsible for keeping tax lien records. Individuals can visit the office to look up a property’s tax lien records.

Alternatively, you can use online search portals provided by county clerk offices to conduct your tax lien search. The public document search portal for Bernalillo County and the online document search portal for Valencia County are examples of these search portals. You will need to supply details about the property in issue to facilitate a search, no matter the method used to search. Among other things, a document like this would typically contain the name of the property's owner, the date the lien was filed, or the address of the asset.

Federal Tax Lien Search

Federal tax liens are usually filed at the local agency responsible for managing tax records. Therefore, you would need to contact the county clerk’s or treasurer’s office in the county where the tax was filed. You can do this in person, via mail, telephone, or online. 

For example, to conduct a federal tax lien lookup in Mora County, you should visit the County Treasurer’s Office: 

Mora County Treasurer

518 Main 

St., Mora, NM 87732

You can also contact the County Treasurer’s Team by telephone at (575) 387-2756. Lastly, you must give detailed and verifiable information on the taxpayer you are conducting a federal tax lien search on, such as their name and address. 

What is a Lien on Property in New Mexico

In New Mexico, a lien on property is a security charge a creditor places on a debtor's property. A lien serves as a guarantee that a borrower will pay back a loan. If the debtor cannot fulfill their obligations, the creditor has a legal claim to the property. To recoup the loan's value, the creditor may take possession of and sell the property. Liens can be put on any property, including automobiles, yachts, and homes.

Various kinds of liens can be applied to real estate in New Mexico. These include mortgages, property tax liens, mechanic liens, state and federal tax liens, and child support liens, to name a few. However, certain property types are exempt from being claimed or sold by creditors. 

A creditor can also place a lien against the title of a property. When a lien is placed against the property title, it prevents the property from being transferred.

Who can put a lien on a property?

Any creditor can place a lien on a debtor's assets. This includes people and companies that have rendered services such as house remodeling or loans. Nevertheless, the property owner must permit the lien to be placed. A property may also be subject to a lien by a government agency. Because it is the outcome of the law's operation, they do not require the debtor's approval.

How to put a lien on property in New Mexico

You can place a lien on a debtor in different ways, depending on the type of property they hold. In certain situations, you will have to notify the debtor in advance. Therefore, before placing a lien on real estate, you should seek legal counsel from a lawyer. They can help you file your property liens accurately and timely. If you wish to do it independently, take the following steps.

  • Verify ownership: It is important to ensure the debtor owns the property. You can verify ownership by conducting a title search. Additionally, you can look for any additional encumbrances on the land. Even if you sell the property, you won't be able to recoup your obligation if there were liens placed on it before yours. 
  • Create a lien form: Once you have verified the debtor is the owner and there are no outstanding liens, draw up a lien form. The form should have: 
    • The owner's name 
    • The claimant's name and address.
    • The type of property.An explanation of the attribute
    • The total amount of the claim.
  • File the lien form: Once it has been drawn up, file it. There are forms specific to filing lien claims in most counties.
  • Pay the fees: Once you have filed your lien form, pay the necessary fees. Note that costs vary based on the office where you file it and the number of pages that need to be filed.

How to Find a Lien on Property in New Mexico

In New Mexico, multiple methods exist to determine whether a property is subject to a lien. These procedures vary from county to county. For instance, the property search function on the websites of Bernalillo County, Sandoval County, Santa Fe County, Eddy County, and a few other New Mexico counties permits users to perform a property search. However, it should be noted that this feature is not available in every New Mexico county.

The easiest way to determine if a property has a lien on it is to request a title deed search at the county clerk's office. The results of this search would identify the property's owner and any liens or claims made against it.

Property Lien Search By Address

Property lien search by address in New Mexico varies depending on the county the property is located. Most county assessor offices offer online portals for searching property records. You can use this to learn more about a property and check for liens. The San Juan County Assessor property database search and the Sandoval County Assessor's property record search portal are two examples of these types of search portals.

Unfortunately, not all county assessor's offices have property records search portals available. In such cases, you may go to the county clerk's office where the property is situated. You can obtain a title deed search on the property in question at the county clerk's office. This kind of search would require you to provide basic details regarding the property's ownership history. The information will then be used to check for liens on a property. 

Inquirers can also use online records search portals offered by some county clerk offices to check for liens on a property remotely by its address. Two examples are the Eddy County Co Fusion Search Service and the San Juan Online Records Index Search Portal.

Free Lien Search on Property

Most county assessor and clerk offices have online search portals through which interested parties can perform a free lien search on the property. As an alternative, a person wishing to locate liens on a property may personally visit the county clerk's office during regular business hours and look through the property records. These offices typically provide free property record inspections to interested parties. Only when An inquirer will only be charged a fee if they request copies of the records.

What is a Mechanics Lien in New Mexico?

A mechanic’s lien is imposed when a material supplier or contractor is not paid for services provided for building, repairing, or altering a property. The lien grants the creditor a security interest in the property. The contractor must submit a 60-day preliminary notice if:

  • The contractor had no agreement with the property owner.
  • The amount claimed exceeds $5,000.
  • The construction, repair, or modification was not conducted on a property with four (4) houses.

If not, the material supplier or contractor has ninety (90) days from the time the project is finished to file a mechanic’s lien. In addition, the contractor has two (2) years from the date of filing to enforce the lien. 

New Mexico Mechanics Lien Search 

The process for searching for a mechanic's lien in New Mexico is the same as searching for any other lien. Visit the local county clerk's or assessor’s office where the property is located to conduct an official records search. 

Alternatively, you could send a letter to the recorder's office requesting that they look through official records. To do a remote mechanic's lien search, recorder offices also offer online lien search tools.

What is a Mortgage Lien in New Mexico?

A mortgage loan in New Mexico enables interested parties to finance a home purchase of a home. The mortgagor may choose to spread the payment over time rather than paying it all at once. A mortgage places a lien on a piece of real estate, making the home the mortgage's collateral. Should a homeowner fail to make mortgage payments, the mortgagee may repossess the property. 

Unlike other forms of property liens, a mortgage is a voluntary lien. The property owner voluntarily takes action to place a lien on the property—in this example, obtaining a mortgage loan. Mortgage finance in the state is governed by the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority Act.

What is a UCC Lien in New Mexico? 

A Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) lien gives a creditor a claim to a debtor’s business, personal or business property. It serves as collateral for a company when taking out a loan or incurring other debt. The Uniform Commercial Code is legislation that governs business dealings in every state in the union.

To make the debtor or the creditor's interest in the debtor's personal or business property known to the public, a creditor may register a UCC lien with the Secretary of State. Material suppliers file UCC liens in the construction industry to recoup debts. UCC filings are usually open to the public.

UCC Lien Search New Mexico

You can search for UCC liens online through the New Mexico Secretary of State UCC Search portal. Inquirers can use the initial financing statement number, filing number, secured party name, or debtor name to look for UCC lien on this portal. Inquirers can also perform a UCC lien filing search using the list of third-party UCC Search providers provided by the NM SOS.

What is a Lien Title in New Mexico

A lien title is a legitimate claim a person has against another person's property. A property title may have a lien attached to it for several reasons. These include but are not limited to failing to pay property taxes, financing the down payment on a car, and obtaining a loan by using the title to a property as collateral. In most cases, when a lienee defaults on a debt, the lienholder utilizes the lien title as security to lessen their losses.

New Mexico Title Lien Search

In New Mexico, interested parties can conduct a title lien search at the county clerk's office in the area where the property is located. These offices are tasked with maintaining and updating real-estate-related public records.

You can either go in person or online to perform a deed search. The deed will contain information about the property's present owner, including their name and any liens or judgments against it. Most county clerk offices keep an internet search portal that allows you to look for land records, deeds, and other public records remotely.

Additionally, to conduct a vehicle title search, you should go to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (NM MVD). The Division also makes it possible to search remotely through the NM MVD's online service portal

You can use the "Where's My Vehicle Title" link in the site's "Vehicles" section to perform a title search. To find the vehicle title you are looking for, input:

  • The vehicle's control number, 
  • A complete VIN, or the final six (6) characters of the VIN or number plate number. 

In a similar vein, anyone with questions may search for the title of a vessel using the NM MVD online service site. To perform a vessel title search using the portal, inquirers must provide the vessel control number and zip code, the HIN and zip code, or the HIN, vessel registration number, and zip code.

As an alternative, you can pay a real estate lawyer or a title company to search for titles on their behalf.

Free Title Lien Search in New Mexico

Although title documents are public information, searching for them usually comes at a cost. Therefore, you cannot search for a lien on a title for free.

What is a Judgment Lien in New Mexico

In New Mexico, a judgment lien is a court order that compels a debtor to pay a creditor. This may come in the form of awarding damages to a plaintiff. The defendant must give the plaintiff the sum determined by the court. 

Judgment liens only apply to real property, such as houses, in New Mexico. A creditor may file a judgment wherever a debtor presently possesses property or is expected to do so. 

The homestead exemptions in New Mexico extend to judgment liens. A judgment lien is only enforceable by a creditor for the first 14 years following its filing; after that, it becomes void.

New Mexico Judgment Lien Search

In New Mexico, you can find judgment liens in the county clerk’s office in the county where a debtor owns real estate. For instance, if you are looking for a judgment lien in Bernalillo County, visit the county clerk's office or use the Public Document Search portal. 

How to Get a Lien Release in New Mexico

A judgment lien is valid for 14 years on the debtor's property in New Mexico. The lien remains in effect even when ownership has changed. Moreover, the creditor may file for a lien again after it expires.

Only when the loan debt has been settled or if it can be demonstrated that the lienholder did so unlawfully can a lienholder lift the lien. The lienee is responsible for ensuring the lienholder files a release after fulfilling the lien obligations.

How to Get a Copy of a Lien Release in New Mexico

To obtain a copy of a lien release letter in New Mexico, the public may formally request one by going to the county recorder's office during regular business hours. Requests for official copies can be sent by email, fax, online portal, or mail to these county offices. To release a lien, however, you have to submit a request to the county recorder's office. Note that there will be a charge for the copy.

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