Common Law Lien FAQs

Common Law Lien FAQs

What is a common law lien?

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A common law lien is a claim established against property over which the lienor has legal possession.  It reflects the interest the lienor has in the liened property.

How do I calculate the amount of my common law lien?

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A common law lien secures your interest in property over which you have lawful possession.  There are three factors used in calculating the amount of a common law lien.


Equity.  This includes the actual principal you have invested in the

purchase of the property.  It does not include any interest payments

on loans.

 

  1. Improvements.  This includes the actual principal you have invested in improvements to the property.  It does not include any interest payments on loans.

  2. Improvements are those things that increase the basic value of the real property.  For example, building a garage or installing a tank (small lake) are improvements, as are installing power lines and digging a well.  Maintenance and repair are generally not considered to be improvements, because they do not increase the value of the property.

  3. Life experience.  You have lived on the property for some time. You have laughed and cried, worked and played, sweated and strained, in other words, the property owes you. Under common law, that is quantifiable and may be included in the amount of your lien.


I know of no formula for calculating life experience.  I use the figure Three Thousand (3,000) dollars a year, which I believe to be very reasonable.


The amount of your lien is determined by adding up the three categories listed above.

 

Do I need to go to court in order to obtain a common law lien?

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No.  Since you place the lien against your own property in order to secure your interest in the property - in other words, to secure what the property owes you - there is no controversy and so it is not necessary to go to court.  You are simply liening your own property in order to secure your interest in it.

Will a common law lien help me to defend against a foreclosure on my property?

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Yes, if the lien is recorded before the foreclosure is initiated.  Once a foreclosure has begun, it is not possible to place a common law lien on property subject to the foreclosure.

Can a common law lien prevent IRS seizure of my home?

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Possibly.  Liens are paid based on their respective character, regardless of when a given lien was filed.  Mechanic’s liens are always the first liens paid.  Common law liens are second.  Mortgages are not true liens - they are forms of chattel.  IRS Notices of Lien are not liens at all.  Therefore, a properly recorded common law lien will secure the lienor’s interest in the

liened property.  Neither the IRS nor any other party (including a mortgagee) will be able to obtain clear title to property that has a common law lien recorded against it, until and unless the common law lien is paid.


However - and the reason I say possibly - the IRS is staffed by criminals and thugs who do not obey the law.  The courts are staffed by criminal judges who do not obey the law.  The government is staffed by criminals and thugs who do not obey the law they have sworn to uphold.  There are never any guarantees of success when dealing with thugs and criminals.

Can I record a common law lien against property that has been placed into a Pure Trust Organization?

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Yes, as long as you are still living on the property.  Remember, a common law lien is placed on property over which the lienor has legal possession. If you are the General Manager/caretaker of the property held in trust, then

you can record a common law lien against the property because you have legal possession.

Can I place property into a Pure Trust Organization if it already has a CLL recorded against it?

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No.  A lien freezes title and so in order to transfer property into a Pure Trust Organization - or any other entity - any existing liens must first be removed. As long as a common law lien exists against a piece of property, that property cannot be transferred to a new owner.

How do I remove a common law lien that I have recorded against real Property?

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Either by recording notice that the lien has been paid or recording a notice of Satisfaction of Lien at the same County Recorder where the original lien was recorded.

If I have recorded a common law lien against my property and then record a Satisfaction of Lien...

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If I have recorded a common law lien against my property and then record a Satisfaction of Lien so that I can transfer the property into a Pure Trust Organization - or anywhere else - can I then reinstitute the common law lien and again record it with the County Recorder?

No.  Once you have recorded a notice of Satisfaction of Lien, then the lien has been satisfied!  You cannot “reactivate” it, because it no longer exists. However, if you establish a new claim against the property then you can record a new common law lien.

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