If there is a lein on a piece of property and you sell it does the buyer assume the debt?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If there is a lein on a piece of property and you sell it does the buyer assume the debt?

I could not get a refinance and could not pay the balloon payment that was due. The bank forgave the loan. Can they make the buyer assume the debt from the lien? When I talked to the bank they said that the buyer would not be liable because that was between me and the bank.

Asked on September 1, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The lien needs to be released. If the bank files the paperwork to release the lien, then a buyer can purchase the property free and clear. But until any lease or any mortgage is actually released by the bank, the lien or mortgage goes with the property and would burden any buyer (and/or make the property unsellable--who wants to buy a property which could be foreclosed on, for example?). If the bank says it has already released the lien, get something in writing from them and then also go to the county clerk's office to check that the release was filed and has been recorded.

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