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Nebraska Lien Search

A Nebraska lien search is a process individuals can use to determine if any active liens are recorded against a property in Nebraska. A lien search entails reviewing relevant records maintained by government entities, such as the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles, Secretary of State, and county registers, for recorded liens. Liens are also maintained as part of Nebraska civil court records as property-related matters are heard by the state’s civil courts. 

A property's market value and ownership rights can be impacted by a lien or other encumbrances on the Property title. Hence, real estate investors and prospective property owners are advised to perform specific due diligence procedures—such as a lien search—when purchasing or selling a property to make sure the property has a clear title. To recoup the outstanding debt, the lien holder may sell real estate property following a short-term notice.

What is a Lien in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, a lien is a legal tool that one party (i.e., an entity or individual) can have attached to a piece of property owned by another party who owes them a debt or obligation. A lien provides its holder with a security interest in the property to which the lien is attached. 

A lien serves as a security to ensure a debtor satisfies a debt or obligation they owe. If a lien is attached to a property and its owner still refuses or fails to satisfy the related debt or obligation, the lien may be enforced. A lien's enforcement can result in the foreclosure or seizure of the affected property to satisfy the owed debt.

Numerous Nebraska state statutes, including Nebraska Revised Statute 52-131, permit attachments of liens on properties in the state under certain conditions. 

Types of Liens in Nebraska

Nebraska state statutes allow for the creation of various kinds of liens. Each lien type has particular circumstances that may warrant their attachment to the property or authorize their enforcement or use. Some of the most common types of lien in Nebraska include;

  • Construction liens
  • Tax lien
  • UCC liens
  • Judgment liens
  • Agricultural liens
  • Federal tax liens
  • Mortgage liens
  • Bank lien

Most of the aforementioned types of liens share specific unique characteristics that can be used to group them into specific categories of liens. For instance, the extent to which a lien may affect a debtor's property (general liens or specific liens) or how lien holders may enforce these liens. Some of the categories of liens and the types of liens that fit into such categories are summarized below:

General Liens in Nebraska

In Nebraska, general liens are legal claims that can affect some or all properties a debtor owns. These include personal properties, such as vehicles and other assets, and real property (i.e. land and real estate). As a result, with general liens, any of a debtor's property can be used to secure a debt they owe. An excellent example of a general lien is a tax lien.

Specific Liens in Nebraska

Liens that are restricted to being attached to a particular property are known as specific liens. Usually, the affected property has some debt associated with it that warrants a lien. Some examples of a specific lien includes real estate lien or mortgage lien (resulting from a mortgage loan) and construction liens.

Consensual vs Involuntary Liens

A consensual or voluntary lien arises when an individual agrees to a lien against a property or asset they own as collateral for securing a debt they owe. In other words, consensual liens are recorded to properties with the property owner's consent. A mortgage lien is one example of a consensual lien. On the other hand, an involuntary lien does not require a property owner's consent before it can be recorded against a property. A tax lien is an example of an involuntary lien.

Nebraska Statutory Liens

Liens that arise due to provisions of state or federal statutes are known as statutory liens. Hence, neither a security agreement nor the direct consent of a property owner is needed before a statutory lien can be recorded. Some common examples of a statutory lien includes tax, judgement, and construction liens. 

What is a Tax Lien in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, a tax lien protects the government's rights to collect delinquent taxes an individual owes. Per Nebraska Statute 77-3904, tax liens can be levied on personal and real properties a taxpayer owns in the state if they neglect or refuse to pay delinquent taxes. These include unpaid property taxes, income taxes, and other relevant tax forms. It is worth noting that tax liens share the qualities of both a statutory and general lien.  

Are Tax Liens Public Record?

Yes. Tax liens are matters of public record per the provisions of Nebraska Revised Statute 84-712

To perfect a tax lien (record and make it legally enforceable) against a taxpayer, a government agency must record the tax lien with the Register of Deed office in any Nebraska county where a taxpayer owns real property. Meanwhile, tax liens recorded against personal property are filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State office. After recording, tax liens are maintained as public records by these offices. Once a lien has been recorded certain restrictions are usually imposed on the affected property. These restrictions can make buying, selling, or refinancing the affected property impossible or difficult.

Nebraska Tax Lien Search

In Nebraska, tax lien records against real properties are maintained at the county level at each county's Register of Deed office. Hence, these offices may be queried to conduct a tax lien search on real properties within their jurisdiction. Most county registers permit in-person queries and make provisions for online access to records they maintain. Some offices also accept record inquiries submitted through other means (by phone, email, or mail).

In-person queries can be made by visiting a county Register of Deed office's physical address during office hours (Usually from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). In-person queries are usually free. However, record seekers are charged a fee for copies of any requested record. 

On the other hand, county registers that allow remote access to records they maintain usually provide online resources or tools inquirers can use to access and search these records online. These online tools are usually accessible through the Register's official website. For instance, the Platte County Register of Deed page and Washington County Register of Deed page. These online tools and similar tools maintained by other county registers are typically searchable by instrument number, subject name, filing date, or a property's legal description.  

Where other means of inquiry (phone, email, or mail) are encouraged, inquirers can create a written request outlining the desired record and submit it to the Register along with relevant fees. The request must contain information that sufficiently identifies the desired record (such as a filing date and a subject name) as well as the requester's contact information.  

To search for tax liens recorded against personal property in Nebraska, inquirers can access the Nebraska Secretary of State's UCC/EFS search and filing center page.     

Federal Tax Lien Search

In Nebraska, federal tax liens against real property are recorded with the Register of Deed office in the county where the property is situated. Meanwhile, the Nebraska Secretary of State office records federal tax liens against personal property. Hence, a federal tax lien lookup in Nebraska can be conducted through these entities. 

A federal tax lien search can also be conducted through third-party options, such as a title company or real estate attorney. In such cases, these third parties can be hired to perform a title search for federal tax lien records on an inquirer's behalf.  

What is a Lien on Property in Nebraska?

A lien on property in Nebraska is a legal claim against a property used to secure a debt or obligation its owner owes another party (i.e., an individual, entity, or government). Nebraska state statutes permit the recordation of liens on personal properties, such as a vehicle and certain tangible property, as well as real properties, including lands and real estate. 

Who Can Put a Lien on a Property in Nebraska?

Generally, anyone can place a lien on a property in Nebraska, including individuals, organizations, businesses, and the government, provided the owner of such property owes them debt or obligation.

How to Put a Lien on Property in Nebraska

Certain preliminary processes must be undertaken depending on the type of lien a claimant wishes to put on a property in Nebraska.

For instance, under Nebraska Revised Statute 52-135, a notice of right to assert a lien must be issued to a property owner before a construction lien can be put on their property. Furthermore, under Nebraska Revised Statute 52-137, construction liens are subject to a 120-day filing deadline. Hence, claimants are advised to seek legal advice from a licensed attorney to ascertain the legal requirements for the type of lien they want to put on a property. Nonetheless, putting a lien on a property in Nebraska typically involves the following steps:

  • Identify and verify the debtor property: This involves conducting a title search to ensure the debtor owns the property and ascertaining if the property is subject to any other encumbrance. The latter is particularly important because older liens are usually prioritized over newer ones. 
  • Prepare and notarize the lien form: This form should contain all relevant details about the lien. This includes the claimant, the property's owner information, and the amount owed. It is worth noting that some Nebraska county register of deed offices offer dedicated lien forms for specific types of liens claimants can use. Some examples include Douglas County Register of Deeds real estate forms and Lancaster County Register of Deeds forms
  • File the lien form and pay the required recording fee: As previously stated, liens against real property are filed with the recorder of deed in the county where the property is located. Meanwhile, liens against personal property are filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State Office. Furthermore, claimants are charged a fee to file a lien form.

How to Find a Lien on Property in Nebraska

Interested persons can find a lien on real property in Nebraska by querying the Register of Deeds Office in the county where the property is located. These offices (Register of Deeds offices) maintain land records of properties within their respective jurisdiction, including lien records. Meanwhile, the Nebraska Secretary of State Office may be queried to find a lien on personal properties in the state. 

Property Lien Search By Address in Nebraska

Most government agencies that provide tools and services that can be used to check for liens on property, such as county Registers and the SOS, do not index records by address. Instead, their records are usually indexed by the name of individuals, the record's filing date, and specific details about a property. As a result, instead of a property's address, these details are used to facilitate a property lien search. 

The only viable option for inquirers to find liens on a property by address in Nebraska is through certain third-party services. Some third-party aggregate websites provide services allowing users to search for property liens in Nebraska by a property's address. However, users are typically charged a fee for this service, and the information obtained from these platforms may need to be validated or verified through official government sources.

Free Lien Search on Property

Interested individuals can conduct a free lien search in Nebraska through online tools and resources provided by some county Registers of Deed offices and the Nebraska Secretary of State Office. Alternatively, most county registers also permit free in-person searches at their offices.

What is a Mechanics Lien in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, a mechanics lien, sometimes called a construction lien, is a legal tool used to secure owed payment for services and materials provided under contract for improvements to real estate in the state. Per Nebraska Revised Statute 52-131, provided a person furnishes services or materials for the improvement of a real estate under contract, they put a construction lien on said real estate. These include professionals like contractors, suppliers, architects, surveyors, and builders.

A construction lien imposes certain restrictions on an affected property, making it difficult to sell or refinance the property without first satisfying the lien. In some instances, a lien holder may be able to enforce a construction lien, which can lead to foreclosure proceedings. Ultimately, foreclosure may lead to the property being sold and the revenues going toward settling the lien. 

Nebraska Mechanics Lien Search

Like other lien types in Nebraska, mechanic's liens are managed at county offices in the concerned judicial district. Interested persons can conduct a mechanic lien search by querying the applicable county Register of Deed office. Queries can be made in person by visiting the Register's physical office or through online resources some registers provide. Alternatively, mechanic's lien requests may be made by submitting a written request describing the desired record along with the relevant fee payments to the office of the Register of Deeds. 

What is a Mortgage Lien in Nebraska?

A mortgage lien is a legally recognized claim that a mortgage lender may place against a piece of real estate for which they have extended financing. A mortgage lien acts as security to guarantee repayment of the loan collected against the mortgaged property. Essentially, the mortgaged property serves as collateral, and the lender may sell or repossess the property to cover the outstanding balance if the owner defaults on the loan. 

What is a UCC Lien in Nebraska? 

A UCC lien in Nebraska is a legal claim against a personal property an individual or entity can file with the government to secure a debt or obligation the property's owner owes them. The Nebraska Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) governs UCC liens in the state, including their recordation and enforcement. 

UCC Lien Search Nebraska

In Nebraska, interested persons can conduct a UCC lien search through the Nebraska Secretary of State office and certain local agencies, specifically county register offices. Inquirers can search for UCC liens recorded against real property, such as lands and real estate, by querying the Register of Deed office where the property is located. 

Meanwhile, UCC liens against personal properties can be researched through the SOS. Fortunately, the SOS maintains a search portal that can be used to search records of UCC liens it maintains online. This search portal is accessible through the SOS UCC/EFS Search and Filing Center page. However, to use the portal, an inquirer must be a subscriber. For more information about researching UCC liens through the SOS, interested persons can contact the SOS at (402) 471-4080 or by email at  

What is a Lien Title in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, when a vehicle or car purchase is financed, or a vehicle is used as collateral for securing a loan, a lien in favor of the lender is usually recorded against the vehicle's title. This type of lien is commonly referred to as a "lien title." The lien typically remains against the vehicle until the associated debt is repaid. However, if the debtor defaults on the debt, the lien holder can enforce the lien, giving them the legal right to repossess the vehicle to satisfy the debt.

Nebraska Title Lien Search

Nebraska is an electronic lien titling state. Hence, a title lien search can be conducted online through the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV maintains a dedicated online portal (EDMV) that inquirers can use to look up vehicle titles (including any lien recorded against a vehicle). On the portal, title lien searches can be conducted using a Vehicle's Identification Number (VIN) as a search criteria.  

Free Title Lien Search in Nebraska

Interested persons can conduct a free title lien search in Nebraska through the EDMV portal provided by Nebraska's DMV. The portal is both free and easy to use. Users can easily search for a vehicle on the portal using the vehicle's VIN. Free title lien searches may also be available through third-party aggregate sites and repositories. However, for most of these sites, minimal information is disbursed for free. For more extensive information, users will be required to pay a service fee.

What is a Judgement Lien in Nebraska

In Nebraska, a judgement lien is a legal claim against a property that directly results from a judgement entered against the owner of the property. Suppose, a court case results in a judgement ordering the losing party (the judgement debtor) to perform a specific obligation, such as paying the winning party (the judgement debtor) monetary damages. In such cases, per the Nebraska Revised Statute 25-1504, a lien of judgement can be recorded against properties the judgement debtor owns within the county the judgement was entered to ensure the judgement satisfaction.  

Per Nebraska Revised Statute 25-2721, the judgement creditor can also file their judgement with other counties where the judgement debtor owns property to record a judgement lien against such properties. Furthermore, a judgment lien in Nebraska remains attached to a property for five (5) years after its entry date, per Nebraska Revised Statute 25-1515.

Nebraska Judgement Lien Search

A judgement lien search in Nebraska can be conducted by querying the Register of Deeds office in any county where a judgement debtor owns property. Most county registers accept inquiries made in person at their office physical address. Some county register offices also maintain online tools inquirers can use to search records of liens they maintain, including judgement lien. 

How to Get a Lien Release in Nebraska

A lien release is a legal document that warrants the removal of a lien from property. The most straightforward way to get a lien release in Nebraska is by satisfying the underlying cause for the lien. This may require the payment of a delinquent debt or performing a specific task. 

After the reason for the lien has been satisfied, the lienee can be contacted to get a lien release letter. After obtaining the lien release, it must be filed with any government agency where the original lien was recorded. This may include any county Register of Deeds office, the Nebraska DMV, and the Secretary of State office.  

Another way to get a lien release is by court order. In this case, the individual affected by the lien can file a lawsuit disputing the validity of the lien with a court of appropriate jurisdiction. However, there is no guarantee that the court will approve the claim.

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