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Oregon Court Records

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Oregon Lien Search

An Oregon lien search is a procedure conducted to determine whether a third party holds a legal claim over a property due to the owner's failure to fulfill contractual obligations or pay a debt. In Oregon, this information is publicly available and is revealed when someone examines the property's title. Conducting an Oregon lien search involves scrutinizing public documents to identify any existing liens or additional constraints on the property, ensuring compliance with legal requirements. This process is essential in real estate transactions and ensures the property has a clear title, free from encumbrances.

What is a Lien in Oregon?

An Oregon lien is a legal claim against an asset used as collateral to pay off a debt. The provision for the construction and execution of a lien in Oregon is outlined in ORS 87.001 of Oregon state laws. Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 93.643 also stipulates that liens must be recorded with the County Clerk's office and made accessible to members of the general public.

Types of Liens in Oregon

The most common types of liens in Oregon include:

  • Judgment liens
  • Tax liens
  • Mechanic liens or Construction liens
  • Property liens (Including real estate property and non-tangible property)

Most Oregon liens can be categorized as voluntary, involuntary, general, and specialized liens.

General Liens in Oregon

When filed against an individual, a general lien attaches to all their assets collectively rather than just certain kinds of property. Cars, real estate holdings, bank account balances, jewelry, and other goods are considered assets covered by a general lien.

Specific Liens

 A Specific lien is connected to a particular asset. Some examples of a specific lien include bank liens (or liens placed a bank account), mortgage liens and title liens. Ultimately, when an individual pledges their property as collateral for a loan, the lender may seize it if they stop making payments or completely default on the debt. Hence, the lien is specific to the property used as collateral.

Consensual vs Involuntary Liens

In Oregon, liens can also be classified based on their voluntary or involuntary nature. Voluntary or consensual liens arise when an individual willingly signs documents, such as during a mortgage loan application, creating a lien on their property. This occurs with the property owner's consent, allowing the lender to place a lien if the owner defaults on payments.

On the other hand, involuntary liens are imposed on a property against the owner's will by an external entity. In Oregon, some examples of involuntary liens include Judgment and mechanic liens.

Statutory Liens

In Oregon, statutory liens are placed on a debtor when they fail to fulfill their contractual obligations. Some examples of statutory liens are mechanics and construction liens. If a contractor completes a contracted job but isn't compensated, they may file a statutory lien against the property owner.

What is a Tax Lien in Oregon?

According to 311.232 & ORS 311.405, the Oregon state government has legal authority to impose a state tax lien on an individual's property when they fail to fulfill their tax obligation. A tax lien is an official notification of debt affixed to the debtor's real estate and ownership rights. The state may authorize the imposition of a tax lien on one or more of the defaulter's properties, including cash, real estate, and personal possessions.

Are Tax Liens Public Records in Oregon?

 Yes, tax liens are public records per Oregon's public record law. This provision authorizes members of the public to request information relating to tax liens from public institutions. Typically, the county recorder's office, where the defaulter's real estate is located, records and disseminates tax liens for their jurisdiction. The Oregon Department of Revenue publicly lists delinquent taxpayers who owe the department at least $50,000 in unpaid tax obligations per ORS 305.806

Oregon Tax Lien Search

In Oregon, tax lien records are maintained by the county tax office and the Oregon Secretary of State. Individuals interested in obtaining information about tax liens can contact the Oregon Department of Revenue or get them from the county records office where the individual, company, or property is located.

To initiate an Oregon tax lien search, inquirers can utilize the online platform provided by the Department of Revenue, specifically the delinquent tax list. This list outlines information about tax liens for individuals and businesses of amounts exceeding $50,000. Searches can be conducted on this portal using the name of a person or business. For tax liens surpassing $50,000, inquirers may contact the department at:

Oregon Department of Revenue

955 Center St NE

Salem, OR 97301-2555

For a more localized search specific to a particular county, requesters can visit the county recorder's office to request a tax lien search.

Federal Tax Lien Search

A Federal Tax Lien Search is a public record inquiry accessible to anyone seeking information on existing federal tax liens, whether against themselves or another party. Federal tax liens arise from unpaid property taxes, and when an individual neglects or is unable to settle a tax obligation, the government may legally establish a claim on their property through a federal tax lien. The lien serves as a means to secure the government's interest in various assets, including financial holdings, personal possessions, and real estate.

For real estate in Oregon, federal tax liens are recorded in the county where the property is situated, as specified in IRM Conversely, federal tax liens affecting personal property are documented in the taxpayer's home county. This process ensures the appropriate jurisdiction for the registration of federal tax liens based on the nature of the property involved.

What is a Lien on Property in Oregon?

A lien on a property in Oregon is a legal claim on a piece of real estate, which allows the lien holder access to the asset if the property owner fails to fulfill their obligations. Like other liens, they provide security to sell real estate property or any collateral to settle outstanding debt in case of default. Oregon property liens typically arise from a debtor's failure to meet obligations related to construction, mortgage, or tax payments. The regulations pertaining to property liens in Oregon can be found in ORS 100.440 of the state's real estate laws.

Who Can Put a Lien on a Property In Oregon?

In Oregon, a creditor has the authority to place a lien on a property. Depending on the type of lien, the creditor could be a financial institution for a mortgage lien, a contractor for a mechanic's lien, or government officials for a tax lien. In some cases, a court order may be required to grant the creditor permission to impose a lien on the property.

How to Put a Lien on Property in Oregon

In Oregon, the process for placing a lien on real estate varies based on the type of claim the party is seeking to submit. For instance, the law states that a person may file a construction lien 75 days after they stop providing labor, supplies, or equipment or 75 days after construction is finished.

  • The claimant must ascertain whether they are authorized to file a lien. This will involve researching if they are within their rights to file a lien and have not missed any deadlines per state statute;
  • Obtain an Advance Notice: Petitioners are required to file a notice to the debtor stating their intention to file the lien if nonpayment continues;
  • Assess the Property: Claimants who intend to file a lien on real estate must conduct some investigation before filing. This is done to verify the owner of the property and obtain its accurate legal description.
  • Create a Lien: A lien is a brief one-page document (usually) that contains information about the debtor, creditor, details of their initial agreement, and the property in dispute
  • Submit the Lien: A lien may be filed in Oregon with the court clerk or the property recorder's office. Real estate liens, specifically, must be filed in the county where the asset is located. Most county clerk offices demand a filing fee of between $50 and $100.

How to Find a Lien on Property in Oregon

To find liens in a property in Oregon, inquirers may review land records in the clerk-recorder's office of the county where the property is situated or where the debtor lives.

Members of the public may also find property liens online by looking through the official websites of various county departments. Typically, County Finance Departments and Revenue Departments operate a financial services section where property lien searches are made available. For example, the City of Bend, Oregon, provides an online lien search tool managed by the city's Finance Department. Similarly, in Portland City, the Revenue and Financial Services Department offers online lien search services. 

Most cities in Oregon also provide information on property in the state through third-party sites. Interested persons can send an email to the prescribed vendor to have access to a City's online lien check services. Currently, inquirers are charged $30 for each property search pertaining to liens.

Property Lien Search By Address

Interested members of the public may utilize third-party aggregate databases to search for liens on property in Oregon by address. Most of these services will require the requestor to pay a fee and provide information to facilitate the search. However, they are a convenient alternative to government-owned resources. 

Free Lien Search on Property

To locate liens on property at no cost, visit the local recorder's office in the jurisdiction where the property is located. Alternatively, utilize the search options provided by government custodians. However, while most inquirers will be allowed to view the researched information for free, requesters seeking physical documents may be required to cover the cost of duplication. 

What is a Mechanics Lien in Oregon?

Mechanic's liens, also known as construction liens or contractor liens, are legal instruments that empower contractors, property subcontractors, material suppliers, employees, and equipment rental companies to leverage the value of a property they have worked on to recover unpaid amounts. When a contractor files a mechanic's lien, they gain the legal authority to compel the sale of the property and receive payment for the outstanding balance from the sale proceeds. In Oregon, a mechanic's lien is a valuable tool to ensure that employees receive their rightful compensation.

For a mechanic's lien to be validly filed in an Oregon court, specific criteria outlined by Oregon law must be met. ORS §87.035 delineates the required format and contents of a mechanics lien in Oregon.

Oregon Mechanics Lien Search

Interested members of the public may conduct a mechanics lien search in Oregon by visiting any county clerk's office within the state. According to ORS 93.643, all liens must be officially recorded in the County Clerk's office for each respective city and county. These county clerk offices facilitate in-person visits, allowing individuals to search their database for existing liens in the state manually. Additionally, online access to the database is also available through an electronic medium for a nominal fee. For instance, individuals interested in a Portland City mechanics lien search can utilize the Portland City Lien Information Portal to make their request.

What is a Mortgage Lien in Oregon?

A mortgage lien is a legal claim on real estate that grants a lienlien holder holder the authority to force the sale of the property if the owner or borrower fails to meet their mortgage obligations. Mortgages fall under the category of secured loans. In the event of default, a lien is promptly placed on the property itself, which acts as collateral instead of the borrower providing another type of personal property for the loan.

The existence of mortgage liens can impact the sale of a property. The primary consequence is a potential delay or cancellation of the sale, as all liens must be settled before the transaction is finalized. In exceptional cases, the sale may proceed if an agreement is reached for the lien to be resolved by the property owner. However, if the property is sold with an existing lien, the sale price will likely be significantly lower.

What is a UCC Lien in Oregon?

In Oregon, a UCC lien serves as a contract utilized by lenders to mitigate the risks associated with extending loans to other businesses. When providing a business loan, lenders safeguard themselves against potential losses by filing a UCC-1 claim with the Secretary of State. Under this agreement, the lender may opt for either a collateral UCC lien, which involves placing a lien on a specific asset pledged by the borrowing party, or a blanket lien, which encompasses all of the borrower's assets.

Once filed, the lien becomes a part of the company's credit record. When seeking additional financing, lenders can review the borrower's credit history, including any existing liens or UCC filings. 

UCC Lien Search Oregon

Interested persons can perform a UCC search online through the Oregon Secretary of State UCC search portal. The portal allows users to conduct a UCC lien search using the debtor's full name or the institution that secured the lien. Searches can also be filtered using the start and end date of the lien as well as the file number on the UCC lien.

A UCC information request form can also be used to perform a lien search in Oregon and request individual information on a UCC lien. Requesters can complete the form and send it to the mailing address of the secretary of state along with the required fee at:

Secretary of State Corporation

 Division/UCC Section

 255 Capitol St. NE,

Ste. 151 Salem, Oregon 97310 

What is a Lien Title in Oregon?

In Oregon, a title lien is established when a vehicle is purchased through installment payments. The lender holds the title of the car and is legally acknowledged as the vehicle's owner until the entire loan is repaid. This lien serves as a security for the lender, granting them the authority to repossess the car if the borrower fails to make the required payments.

Oregon Title Lien Search

 A title lien search in Oregon is used to determine the rightful owner of real estate or a vehicle. For vehicles in Oregon, it is usually part of the vehicle's history report. As part of their due diligence, prospective automobile buyers must make sure a car's title is clear by finding out the lien status. 

Interested persons qualified per Oregon law 802.175 - 802.191 may conduct an Oregon Title lien search by visiting the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to request a "Vehicle title history" search. When a Title search is conducted, a certified letter with information on all title transactions and previous owners going all the way back to the vehicle's original Oregon title will be provided. This search can be done for a fee of $22.5.

 A vehicle's history record is also available for purchase from third-party vendors approved by the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS)

Free Title Lien Search in Oregon

In Oregon, free Title lien searches are not provided through official government sources. However, several third-party sites provide free title lien searches to interested persons. The information from these sources is, however, very limited.

What is a Judgement Lien in Oregon

A judgment lien is an ownership claim resulting from legal action. When one party files a lawsuit against the other and prevails, a judge may impose a lien on the losing party's property on behalf of the winning party. Before a lien is put on their property, the debtor will have the chance to make the payment.

However, per Rev. Stat. Sections 18.150 of Oregon law, when a judgment is recorded, any property owned by the debtor within that jurisdiction automatically becomes subject to a judgment lien, which stays on file for 10 years regardless of who owns the property.

Only real estate (a home, Apartment, or piece of land) can have a judgment lien attached to it in Oregon. However, certain states also permit judgment liens to be placed against the debtor's personal belongings, including jewelry, artwork, antiques, and other valuables.

Oregon Judgement Lien Search

Members of the public may visit the county clerk's office where the court granted the judgment to conduct an Oregon judgment lien search. Office personnel can assist with searches using any of the in-house databases. Additionally, some county clerk offices maintain official databases where anybody can look up judgment liens linked to any individual or piece of real estate. Requestors must enter the property's address or the individual's full name to search these databases. An example of this database is the Deschutes county database.

Additionally, not every record of a judgment lien is kept in the County Clerk's Office. Therefore, interested people can also request judgment liens from county courts.

How to Get a Lien Release in Oregon

In Oregon, a lien release, also referred to as satisfaction of lien or lien waiver, is a legally binding document confirming that the debtor has fulfilled the conditions of the initial lien and made the necessary payment. According to Oregon law, the lien release must be filed within 10 days of the claim being satisfied.

To obtain a lien release, parties involved in the lien agreement need to download the specific lien release form corresponding to the type of lien. For example, those who have satisfied vehicle liens can download the DMVs satisfaction of lien form. In contrast, individuals who have fulfilled liens on marine vessels can use the Oregon State Marine boards lien release form. Various lien release forms relevant to the specific type of lien agreement can be obtained at the county recorder's office.

After obtaining the lien release in Oregon, the lienholder—the individual, business, or organization that recorded the claim—must sign and complete a satisfaction of the lien release. This documentation should be sent to the original lien recorder's office, the Secretary of State, or any other government agency where the lien was initially recorded. The lien release is not considered final until a copy marked as "recorded" or "filed" is obtained from a county clerk. A copy of the approved satisfied lien release should then be sent to each participant in the agreement.

How to Get a Copy of a Lien Release in Oregon

The county recorder's office processes requests for copies of lien releases in Oregon. Official copy requests can be submitted to these county offices via mail, and occasionally via fax, email, or an online portal (if the option is available). However, information regarding the lien may be required to locate the document of interest.

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