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Missouri Court Records

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Missouri Lien Search

Missouri lien searches are inquiries for detecting liens on personal or real estate properties within the state. Lien searches may also help identify the legal owners of liened properties. Interested parties can conduct lien searches by accessing records under the purview of designated government bodies. For example, you can search title liens at the Missouri Department of Revenue or the county recorder’s office. A lien search is a crucial step before purchasing properties in Missouri. Prospective buyers conduct lien searches to reduce the risk of taking on the debts or liabilities attached to the property. 

What is a Lien in Missouri?

Liens are generally defined as a creditor’s legal claim to a debtor’s real estate or personal property. Although there are different types of liens, all liened properties are not eligible for sale until the lien condition is fulfilled. The lien conditions may include paying off debts incurred via the purchase or maintenance of the property.

Creditors in a lien contract may have the right to seize, sell off, or reclaim all properties placed under a lien. They may have claims over all or specific properties. Creditors, in this context, may include government agencies, real estate brokers, contractors, and credit or financial institutions.

Types of Liens in Missouri

Missouri has different types of liens based on conditions, such as the lien property type or the lienholder. Based on the type of creditors, Missouri liens are classified into the following:

  • State tax liens
  • Federal tax liens
  • Mortgage liens
  • Mechanic liens
  • Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) liens
  • Title liens

Missouri liens are also further classified based on metrics such as the following:

  • Properties involved in a lien agreement
  • The debtor’s control over which properties are placed under a lien.

General Liens in Missouri

In Missouri, general liens apply to all properties owned by a debtor. In other words, the creditor has the right to repossess any of the debtor’s property. You may find general liens in real estate transactions or tax bets. For example, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will place liens on all the debtor’s properties until they fully repay the debt.

Specific Liens

Specific liens involve placing certain properties under liens. The creditor maintains a legal claim over specific assets until the debt condition is satisfied. Mechanic and title liens are examples of specific liens. That said, title liens cover motor vehicles or motorized homes, while mechanic liens often attach to real estate properties.

Consensual vs Involuntary Liens

The property owner’s consent is the main difference between a consensual and involuntary lien. In a consensual lien, property owners secure loans by granting liens against their property. Title and mortgage liens are examples of consensual liens in Missouri.

In contrast, involuntary liens occur when creditors place liens against properties without the owner’s consent. These liens may include mechanic liens and tax liens.

Under Missouri state laws, consensual liens have a higher priority than involuntary liens. In other words, creditors in a consensual lien will first get payments if the debtor defaults on their debt.

Statutory Liens

In a statutory lien, the court grants the creditor legal rights over the debtor’s properties. The debtor has no control over which properties are placed under lien. A statutory lien may extend to all or some of the debtor’s properties.

Note: Missouri state courts will only approve statutory liens when the creditor meets the set requirements. For instance, main contractors in a mechanic lien must file a written notice with the property owner.

What is a Tax Lien in Missouri?

Per Chapter 92, Section 92.710, a Missouri tax lien grants the government the right to seize or reclaim a tax debtor’s real and personal property. The Missouri Department of Revenue is the designated creditor in a tax lien. To reclaim owed taxes, the agency will file a claim with the county’s recorder of deeds office, where the debtor’s properties are located. Next, the county recorder will attach the lien to the debtor’s properties.

Tax liens in Missouri are classified under statutory and general liens. The lien attaches to all the debtor’s properties, including those acquired after the lien was filed.

The Mo. Ann. Stat. § 140.150, § 140.190 enables the state’s Department of Revenue to sell off the debtor’s properties at a tax sale. Per Mo. Ann. Stat. § 140.160, the department can conduct tax sales within three years if the debtor defaults on repayment.

Are Tax Liens Public Record?

In Missouri, tax liens become public documents when filed with the Missouri Department of Revenue. The agency maintains a searchable database for all tax lien information in the state. In addition, interested parties may also view data on canceled tax liens via the department.

The Missouri Sunshine Law governs the disclosure of tax liens. However, it may redact confidential financial information from public view.

Note: Tax liens may affect a debtor’s ability to access credit. Since these liens are public information, credit agencies can view the data to determine the debtor’s creditworthiness.

Missouri Tax Lien Search

You can find Missouri tax liens via these easy steps:

Step 1. Visit the Missouri Department of Revenue’s tax lien database.

  • Select one of these search options:
  • Search by case number
  • Search by debtor’s name.

Step 2. Fill out the required search inputs. For example, under the name search option, you must input the debtor’s name and county.

Also, you can obtain official files on tax liens at the office of the circuit clerk or the county recorder. Note that these agencies will only keep records of tax liens filed in the county.

Federal Tax Lien Search

Federal tax lien searches require looking up tax liens on personal or real estate properties. Per Chapter 14.010 to 14.040, federal tax lien records are available at the office of the county recorder or the circuit clerk where the property is located. Note that notices of federal tax liens on real estate properties are only obtainable at the county recorder’s office.

To look up federal liens in Missouri, interested parties must contact these custodian bodies. You may request tax liens via mail, in-person, or email. So, contact the record custodian for the available request options.

What is a Lien on Property in Missouri?

Liens on property in Missouri are restrictions placed on a debtor’s property until the debt is fully repaid. The liened properties may include personal assets or real estate properties. In a property lien, the lienholder or creditor has a legal claim over the liened property. Also, they can choose to sell off or seize the property to retrieve the loan.

Note that there are different liens on properties in Missouri. In most cases, the type of loan will determine the lien on the property. For example, securing a loan for a vehicle purchase will place a lien on the vehicle. The loan financier or lienholder has the right to reclaim the vehicle if the debtor defaults on payment.

Who can put a lien on a property?

Per Missouri law, any person has the right to place a lien on properties. Nevertheless, they must fulfill the specific conditions for placing property liens. For example, Missouri Title XXVII, Debtor-Creditor Relations, empowers contractors to file a mechanic lien for unpaid services. Whereas credit agencies must provide loans before they can place liens on the debtor’s properties.

Note: Property liens only become valid after the creditor files the petition with the circuit clerk's or county recorder’s office.

How to Put a Lien on Property in Missouri

The lien type determines the process for filing property liens. Nevertheless, here's the general outline for placing liens on properties in Missouri:

Step 1: Ensure you are eligible to file a lien.

Not all persons or entities are eligible to file property liens in Missouri. For example, eligible contractors filing mechanic liens must provide property owners with a written lien waiver notice. Also, they must provide this notice at specific times during the project. 

Step 2: Gather the necessary documents or data for filing a property lien

Creditors may fill out downloadable forms or create a written request detailing these data:

  • Property owner's name 
  • Lienholder's name and contact details. 
  • A description of the property 
  • The lien amount 
  • The business name of the lienholder.

To file a title lien in Missouri, creditors must gather a Notice of Lien Form (Form 4809) and an Application for Title Form (Form 108)

Step 3: Send the documents to the agency handling the process 

The office of the county recorder or the circuit clerk handles most requests to file liens in Missouri. However, the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) specifically handles the filing of title and tax liens. Also, the department allows online filing for title liens on their platform. 

Step 4: Pay the filing fee 

The filing fee may differ for each county's circuit court or county recorder’s office. For instance, the DOR charges a $2.5 recording fee for property liens.

How to Find a Lien on Property in Missouri

All property lien searches in Missouri must start with the government agency responsible for keeping the record. Interested searchers can find lien information at these agencies:

  • The Missouri Department of Revenues 
  • The recorder’s office or the circuit clerk of the county where the property is located.

The DOR allows both online and remote access to tax lien and title lien records. In contrast, you access lien records via written requests to the county recorder's office. Remember to add the search fee as a check or money order when requesting via mail. 

Property Lien Search By Address

To find property liens via address, contact the Recorder of Deeds in the county where the property is situated. The Recorder of Deeds’ Office may maintain online or offline access to these records.

For example, St. Louis County's Recorder of Deeds Department allows online, mail, or in-person requests for lien searches via property address.

To search for property liens online, input the property address on the recorder's online search platform. For mail or in-person request options, you must fill out the property address in your written request form.

Free Lien Search on Property

Interested parties may conduct free searches for property liens at the office of most Missouri counties’s Recorder of Deeds. For instance, St. Louis County's Recorder of Deeds maintains a free, searchable portal for liens on properties. Also, you may walk-in into the county's office to view these records. Note: interested parties must pay specific fees for copying or downloading the records.

What is a Mechanics Lien in Missouri?

In Missouri, contractors who work on a real estate property can file a mechanic lien if the property owner refuses to pay for their service. The contractor must file the lien with the recorder of deeds or circuit court within 90 days of providing the service.

Per Missouri Revised Code Chapter 429, contractors are eligible to file a mechanic lien after sending a written notice to the property owner. The written notice is outlined in Section 1 of Chapter 429.012. Furthermore, they must send the written notice during one of these periods:

  • At the time of executing the contract
  • After delivering the materials
  • After commencing the work
  • After delivering the first invoice.

Per Chapter 429.060, mechanic liens have precedence over other liens on property. This means the creditor in a mechanic liens must first get paid before other lienholders.

Missouri Mechanics Lien Search 

In Missouri, each county’s Office of the Recorder of Deeds keeps records of mechanic liens filed in the county. Thus, record seekers can search Missouri mechanic liens on properties by contacting the Recorder of Deeds’ Office. This record custodian may enable access to these records via online, mail, or in-person request. You'll often find the available request methods on their official websites.

What is a Mortgage Lien in Missouri?

In a Missouri mortgage lien, creditors or lenders have a legal claim over real estate properties that serve as collateral. Financial institutions, such as banks and credit facilities, are often the lienholders in a mortgage lien.

The creditor has the right to reclaim the property if the owner defaults on the debt repayment. On the other hand, debtors are also unable to sell the property until the debt is fully repaid. In some cases, the property owner may settle the debts through the proceeds from the property sale.

What is a UCC Lien in Missouri? 

In Missouri, creditors file a UCC lien to show they have first priority over properties used as collateral. Creditors will file the UCC lien immediately after the borrower secures a debt using personal or real estate properties as collateral.

Chapter 400 of the Missouri Revised Statutes governs the procedures for filing and searching for UCC liens on properties. In addition, these statutes determine the agency responsible for receiving these records. Per state law, the Missouri Secretary of State, via the Uniform Commercial Code Division, receives filings for UCC liens on personal property. In contrast, the law empowers a county’s recorder of deeds office to accept UCC filings for real estate-related properties.

UCC Lien Search Missouri

In Missouri, you can check for UCC liens on properties by contacting the government agency holding the record. The Missouri Secretary of State maintains an online search database for all UCC liens filed with the agency. To check for liens on property, you must use one of these search options:

  • Search by business name
  • Search by registered agent
  • Search by name availability
  • Search by charter number.

Conversely, the county recorder of deeds keeps records of UCC liens filed for properties within a county. Therefore, interested parties can look up UCC liens at the recorder's office via the available request options.

Note: Although UCC lien searches in Missouri are free, record seekers must pay a $27 copying fee. Also, it costs an additional $1 per page.

What is a Lien Title in Missouri?

Lien titles in Missouri are legal rights to claim properties used as collateral to secure a debt. The properties in a title lien are motor vehicles, manufactured homes, trailers, outboard motors, and water vessels. On the other hand, the creditor may include the bank, an independent lender, or a credit facility.

Missouri state laws require lienholders to perfect or file the lien within 30 days of issuing the loan. Furthermore, they must file the following documents with the Missouri Department of Revenue:

  • Form DOR - 108 or Form DOR 4809 (for vehicles and manufactured homes)
  • Form DOR-4809 (for outboard motors and vessels).

Missouri Title Lien Search

Lien title searches in Missouri detect lien information on vehicles and manufactured homes. Interested parties can lookup title liens on properties via the Missouri Secretary of State's website. As the custodian of title liens, the agency enables access to title liens via mail, in-person, or email requests.

Record seekers can obtain title liens on the website via these steps:

  1. Download and fill out Form 4803
  2. Attach the search fee. It costs $2.82 to obtain a title lien record in Missouri. 
  3. Send the completed document and search fee to:

Motor Vehicle Bureau

Record Center

P.O. Box 2048

Jefferson City, MO 65105-2048

Phone: (573) 526-3669

Fax: (573) 751-7060

E-mail:  mvrecords@dor.mo.gov

Free Title Lien Search in Missouri 

As of March 2024, the Missouri Department of Revenue does not provide free access to title liens. Record seekers must pay a $2.82 search fee per record. Also, there are no third-party search sites for accessing free title liens in Missouri.

What is a Jugdement Lien in Missouri? 

A Missouri judgment lien is a court order that places a property lien on a debtor's property. The court will impose a judgment lien to ensure the debtor repays the debt in full. In Missouri, judgment liens are only attached to real estate properties.

Creditors in judgment lien are entitled to get paid from the proceeds of selling the debtor's property. Keep in mind that Missouri judgment liens have a ten-year lifespan. Also, a creditor's ability to collect debt under judgment liens is limited by the following factors:

  • The property is the debtor's primary residence 
  • There are other liens on the property 
  • The property is foreclosed due to bankruptcy proceedings.

Missouri Judgement Lien Search

You can find records of judgment liens at the courthouse that handled the case. The clerk or recorder department in a court may handle requests for judgment lien records. That said, there is no statewide database for looking up judgment liens.

The clerks of the circuit courts in Missouri also maintain records of judgment liens filed with them. You may visit the courthouse in person or send a mail request to access the record.

How to Get a Lien Release in Missouri 

You may follow these general steps to get a lien release in Missouri:

Step 1: The debtor repays the loan or fulfills the terms of the lien agreement

Debtors may repay the debt to the creditor in full or in installments per the lien condition. 

Step 2: The creditor releases the lien after receiving the loan payment

Per Sections 301.640, 306.420, and 700.370, RSMo, lienholders in a title lien must release the lien within five days of getting the loan repayment. 

Step 3: File and notarize the lien with agency responsible for keeping the lien documents 

For title liens and other liens filed with the Department of Revenue, the lienholder must fill out, sign, and notarize a Notice of Release Form (Form 4809). Furthermore, they must send the completed form to the Department of Revenue at:

Motor Vehicle Bureau 

301 West High Street 

PO Box 3355 

Jefferson City MO  65105-3355

For other property liens, the lienholder must create and notarize a release form. Also, they must send it to the Recorder of Deeds Office or the circuit court where the lien was filed. The release form may contain the following details:

  • The lienholder's name and contact details 
  • Description of the liened property
  • The specifics of the lien being released
  • The property owner's name or business name.

How to Get a Copy of a Lien Release in Missouri

You can get copies of lien release letters from the government agency responsible for keeping the record. That said, copies of lien release letters in Missouri are available at these government agencies:

  • The Missouri Department of Revenue ( it maintains lien release letters for tax and title liens).
  • The Circuit Clerk's or the Recorder of Deeds’ Office (keeps lien release letters for properties situated within the county)
  • Criminal Records
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  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
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  • And More!