What is a Lien? Understanding Mortgages

When discussing mortgages, one term that often arises is "lien." A mortgage is not a loan, but a lien on the property that keeps the loan secure. It is important to understand this confusing term in order to properly understand mortgages and property ownership.

Benefits of renting * Renting can act as a source of income. * The property acts as a means of income without losing the ownership. * In hard times, instead of selling at lower rates you can retain the property as well as earn from it. * If you are getting transferred temporarily then renting can be a good option. Once you take the decision to rent out your property then there are two ways to go about it. You can directly deal with the prospective clients.

You can take help of letting agents. This system is quite popular in UK. A letting agent works as a mediator between property owners and tenants. The tenant comes into an agreement with the landlord through the letting agent. The letting agent takes a fee which is generally a fraction of the rental fee. There are several benefits of employing letting agents.

Your screening criteria should not be subjective. Rejecting an applicant because they give you a "bad feeling" or because you did not "connect" with them will only run you afoul of Fair Housing laws. Your criteria needs to be objective. Federal law contains seven (7) different protected classes and the state of Wisconsin has a total of twelve (12) protected classes. Local municipalities often have additional protected classes so you must check local ordinances. You may not deny an applicant because they are a member of any of the following protected classes in Wisconsin: race, color, national origin, sex, religion, familial status, handicap, marital status, sexual orientation, lawful source of income, ancestry and age (18 years old and over).

A common misconception is that you cannot reject an applicant because they smoke, becasue they have a money judgment against him/her, or becasue they have been evicted in the past. Smokers, debtors, and people who have been evicted are not members of any protected class under federal or Wisconsin law and therefore your screening criteria can exclude them without violating Wisconsin or federal discrimination laws. Other examples of legal screening criteria in Wisconsin may include the following:

(1) Applicant must have gross monthly income of 3 times the monthly rental amount;

(2) Applicant must have no unsatisfied money judgments against them;

(3) Applicant must have a credit score of at least 600;

(4) Applicant must complete all questions on the rental application;

failure to answer all questions or provide an acceptable reason for not answering all questions are grounds for denial of your application. What type of screening criteria you have often depends on the location of the rental property, the type of renter you are looking for and a landlord's willingness to tolerate risk. Third, you should run every applicant's name through Wisconsin's Consolidated Court Automation Program (CCAP). This website lists all criminal and civil legal actions filed throughout Wisconsin. By becoming adept with CCAP's search capabilities you will be able to discover if a prior landlord has started an eviction action against your applicant, if your applicant has ever been charged with a crime, or if they have been sued for owing money to someone and whether or not they have satisfied that judgment. Best of all CCAP is free and open to the public (at least as of this writing however one Wisconsin Assemblyman has introduced a bill that if passed will significantly restrict CCAP's access to landlords).

A mortgage is one type of lien. Therefore, a mortgage is not a loan in and of itself, but rather a way for a lender to secure property rights while the borrower still owes money. Although the term "mortgage" is often used interchangeably with "loan," the two are indeed different. Before deciding to buy or sell property, it is important to be fully informed about legal issues surrounding mortgages and titles to be sure that you fully own the property.

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