A governmental claim on real property when a taxpayer fails to make property tax payments or has outstanding income taxes. While federal and state governments have the ability to assess liens over unpaid income taxes, local governments may assess liens over unpaid local income taxes and property taxes. Tax liens give taxing authorities priority over other creditors that may have claim to the property when liquidated.
In addition to affecting a taxpayer’s credit, a tax lien may affect the marketability of real property. While the lien is in-place, a taxpayer may not be able sell or refinance the property until the lien is satisfied. The two most basic ways to satisfy a tax lien is through the repayment of outstanding taxes or dismissal through bankruptcy court.