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Last Updated: 12/31/2018


A lien is a legal claim filed with the Office of Secretary of State or county recorder. It allows us to take real property (land and any property, such as homes or buildings, attached directly to it), or personal property (movable property, such as vehicles, furniture, boats, and collectibles) owned by an individual or business in Minnesota to pay your debt.

Whether you are an individual or a business, we may file a lien at any time and add a charge of $30 to file and release it. (See Minnesota Statutes, section 270C.63 and section 16D.08). We will release the lien when it is paid in full with secured funds. If you pay any other way, it is released 30 days from the day we receive your payment.

If we filed a lien on your real property and:  

  • you want to sell it, the lien attaches to all proceeds of the sale

  • you die, the property becomes part of your estate and the lien remains attached to the property 

  • there are multiple owners, the lien only affects the person whose name is on the lien 

  • it is owned as a joint tenant, and the joint tenant dies, the lien on the deceased owner ends 

  • it is owned as tenants in common, and one dies, their share of the property goes to the heirs, not the remaining owner, and the lien remains attached to the property. 

Why did you transcribe (copy) my lien? 

We transcribe (copy) a lien between one county and another county, or between a county and the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State (OSS) if:  

  • you move to a new county 

  • we find real property in another county 

A transcription may be done within ten years of the original filing date, and it does not extend the statute of limitations (SOL)  

Does a lien have a Statute of Limitation (SOL)?  

Yes, we must file a lien within five years of the assessment date. If your debt is the result of a Commissioner Filed Return (CFR), the five-year period begins with the date we assessed the CFR.  

A lien extends the SOL for us to collect your debt by 10 years from the date the lien was recorded. Prior to the lien expiring, we must renew it, otherwise, we cannot take collection actions. (See Minnesota Statute 270C.63, subdivision 9.)  

What if I believe the lien was filed in error? 

If you believe we filed the lien in error, you may request an Administrative Review. If we determine it was filed in error, we will release the lien. (See Minnesota Statute 270C.63, subdivision 15.) 

What if I filed for bankruptcy? 

We cannot file a lien on your property when you are in bankruptcy. A bankruptcy extends the SOL to file a lien for debts that are not discharged. However, it does not extend the time to renew liens that were filed before the bankruptcy. 

I need my lien released but I cannot pay the debt in full. What can I do? 

If we filed a lien and you: 

  • want to refinance your mortgage, you may ask for a lien subordination. A subordination puts a new mortgage or UCC1 document at a higher debt priority over our lien. This does not prevent us from taking other legal actions to collect your debt. 

  • sold your home or equipment and there is not enough equity to pay your debt in full, you may ask for a partial lien release. The partial release will detach the lien from the new owners, but it stays attached to you until it is paid in full. Without a partial release, the lien stays with the property.