How to Write a Letter Informing Someone of a Lien Filing

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A home with a lien on it may not be sold.
A home with a lien on it may not be sold. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Liens, or legal administrative holds, are placed on properties for a number of reasons. Banks place liens on a property for missed mortgage payments, the Internal Revenue Service places liens for unpaid taxes, and the state places liens for unpaid taxes or unpaid child support. The process of placing a lien is complicated and requires paperwork and authorizations at many levels, but an integral part of the process is writing a letter to the property owner informing him that a lien will be placed.

Follow your organization's template for the format of a lien letter. Most organizations have a template because a lien letter is a legal document that must be formatted in an exact manner. If you do not have a template, type the date followed by a line space. Then type the recipient's name and address on separate lines. Skip another line space.

Create a subject line to draw the recipient's attention to the purpose of the letter. An example of an effective subject line is "Notice of intent to place a lien."

Type "Dear Mr./Ms. (Last name)" followed by a colon. Skip another line space.

State your organization's name and your intention to place a lien on the property immediately in the first paragraph. List the address of the property.

Explain your authority to place the lien, such as a particular law or ordinance. Tell the recipient the purpose of a lien.

Explain how the lien can be satisfied. Examples of ways to satisfy a lien include paying off the debt or paying the debt and the lien fees, if applicable.

Explain the appeals process, in case the recipient believes that your organization placed the lien in error. Give the contact information and a list of documents he would need to start the appeals process.

Provide the contact information for the case worker in charge of the lien.

Close the letter by typing "Sincerely," and skip three line spaces. Type your name and title. Print the letter on your organization's letterhead. Sign above your typed name.

Forward the letter to your legal department. They will check the letter to ensure that it complies with federal, state and local laws.

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