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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>there is a partial lien against my home that my deceased wife make 10 years ago that I knew nothing about. what is my obligation to pay that now that I want to refinance my home

there is a partial lien against my home that my deceased wife make 10 years ago that I knew nothing about. what is my obligation to pay that now that I want to refinance my home

AlabamaLien DeadlinesMechanics Lien

do I have to pay this partial that my deceased wife made 10 years ago on our home, now that I want to refinance it. If I do, can I just pay part of it

1 reply

Sep 10, 2018
The extent to which an old lien on your property is enforceable depends on several factors, including the age of the lien, and the type of lien.

While other types of liens have different rules and effective periods (tax liens, judgment liens, and other kinds of lines are each treated in a distinct manner), if the lien arose pursuant to work performed to improve the property, mechanics lien rules apply.

In Alabama, the time period during which a mechanics lien is valid and enforceable is relatively short. Alabama law requires that a mechanics lien be enforced within 6 months from the date the entire amount became due. If this 6-month period passes without an action being filed to enforce the lien, the lien expires. While it would still potentially be found through a title search if the property was to be sold or refinanced, a 10-year old mechanics lien would no longer be enforceable and no longer encumbers the property.

The enforceability of a lien isn't the only question with respect to an obligation to pay, however. Note that the statute of limitations for an action pursuant to a written contract in Alabama is 10 years, and to recover a judgment is 20.
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