Are mechanic’s liens still owed when buying a house that was foreclosed upon?

My brother bought a house almost 5 years ago and I bought it from him recently via quitclaim deed. He bought it from a foreclosure from the city due to unpaid taxes. there are supposedly two liens one being the mortgage company GMAC and one from a window and siding company due to unpaid work they had done. Am I still responsible for the payment to the lien holders or is that dissolved when the house is foreclosed upon? I also believed the mechanic’s lien was filed after notice of the foreclosure.

Asked on September 25, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Maine


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to go back and do a title search.  First and foremost, who foreclosed on the property? If the entity who foreclosed had a lien on the home, the lien is usually released once the foreclosure occurs by that individual.  If another lien remains, the purchaser did not purchase the property with full warranties and may have purchased it without clear title.  If so, was a title search done prior to closing? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered.  Then, purchasing a property via quit claim deed simply means you are buying whatever rights the seller had.  If the seller had none or had clouded title, you may be in a position to undue the sale.  This also depends on whether you knew of the liens prior to purchase (i.e. did title search and it did not show up).  If you didn't, an argument could be made that any liens were extinguished when you purchased the property.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.