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Georgia residents may not have home liens released in divorce

A lien may be placed on a couple's home if one of the spouses fails to pay a debt or obligation. They are commonly placed by government agencies looking for unpaid taxes or court costs. Problems can arise during a divorce, when a lien that was one spouse's responsibility ends up being borne by both. The lien may need to be addressed in order to avoid difficult legal situations further down the line.

This difficulty is shown in one woman's story who discovered a lien against her house after her divorce was finalized. The lien was placed by the state's collection agency because her husband owed child support and alimony payments to a previous wife. In their divorce agreement, the husband moved out and she kept the house. The problem stems from the fact that she is not legally responsible for the lien, but it will still prevent her from selling or refinancing the house unless it is released.

Liens are not automatically released from jointly owned property in a divorce, even if one party removes their name from the deed. Separate arrangements must be made in order to ensure payment of the debt. This may be done with or without input from the lien holder. A lawyer may be able to help clients contact the government agency responsible and explain the situation. If an agency can pursue debt collection through other means such as wage garnishment, they may be able to release the lien.

Through all parts of the divorce process, whether before papers are filed or after both parties have split ways, a divorce lawyer may be able to provide valuable insight, advice and legal representation. While it is better to handle the lien during divorce negotiations, that may not always be possible. A lawyer is trained to handle more difficult property division matters such as these.

Source: FOX Business, "Will Divorce Release You From Home Lien?", Steve Bucci, January 10, 2014

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