Trying to sell a house without any financial issues or damage on the open market is no walk in the park. In comparison, attempting to sell a house with a judgment lien attached on the open market can feel like being fed to a pack of wolves! 

That’s assuming that you knew about the tax lien this whole time; sometimes, that only makes itself known after the selling process has started. Buyers tend to be uncertain when there’s a lien involved, and they also ask plenty of questions.

That said, it doesn’t automatically disregard all other options when selling a house locally.

What Is a Lien?

Liens can be summed up as a way of finding out who owns a property. A lien allows someone to take legal action (usually to obtain a debt that has not been paid) in the form of court-ordered seizures of the property in question. In many cases, the lien is placed on a house by a bank or another financial institution when an owner fails to pay their mortgage loan on time. 

The lien ensures that if the owner does not pay all of their debt, the lien-holder will get all of the money, regardless of whom it is owed.

Can a Lien Be Put on a Texas House?

In Texas, a tax lien or judgment lien can be attached to any property, including homes and condos. These judgments do not just apply to houses, however; they also apply to land and any other piece of real estate.

A federal tax lien could be put against the house by the IRS for unpaid federal taxes. Unpaid state taxes, on the other hand, open the possibility for the Texas Department of Revenue to put a lien on the house. 

A mortgage lien could be created against the house by a mortgage company. A mechanic’s and material men’s lien can be put against the property by a contractor, subcontractor, or construction worker that had been hired for work on the house. Unpaid HOA dues can lead them to put a lien on your house.

The short answer is: yes. When a party is owed money, and property is involved, institutions can ask for a lien.

How Does a Judgment Lien Get Put on a Texas House?

Any creditor can file a judgment lien with the county clerk in any of the 254 counties in Texas where the debtor owns or has property. A judgment lien will stay on the debtor’s property for a decade, regardless of the ownership. This is why it’s vital to figure out any lien issues before the property is attempted to be sold. There’s a rather low chance of someone wanting to buy a house that has an existing lien.

A creditor’s ability to collect on the lien depends on a few factors, such as other foreclosure or bankruptcy issues, the other liens (if any), and whether or not the debtor actually uses the property in question as a residence.


Selling a home is not easy as it is. When a home has a lien on it, selling it gets even more complicated. A lien will carry over even if the property changes ownership, so it should be addressed right away.

Looking for home buyers in Texas? Reach out to Greenlight Offer today! We understand how important a decision selling your house is, so we have nothing less than the best cash offer for it.