Do liens loom on your purchase?

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Q: How can I find out if a property has any liens on it? If it is a short sale, is the Realtor's title company enough? How do I find someone to independently inspect the property (other than city inspectors)? --Donna A: There are a couple of ways to know whether a property has liens on it. The most obvious liens are all recorded mortgages on the home, which must be cleared in order for the seller to transfer title to you. However, there can also be liens against the home for past-due property taxes, federal or state income taxes, back homeowners association dues, delinquent utility and garbage collection fees, and even mechanic's liens for contractors' bills that the seller didn't pay. If these liens have been placed on record with the county recorder's office, they are actually on the public record that you can access electronically in some counties or in person by visiting your county recorder's office. These records should also uncover recorded easements -- various righ...