Have you ever wondered what kind of information goes onto your record at your local state court house? Are you in the process of doing a background check on a resident of Minnesota? Are you a business performing a screen on a potential hire?
If you are any of these things, the Minnesota state government records important information about its residents, in the civil registry. The purpose of the civil registry is to keep tabs on Minnesota’s inhabitants; but, it also provides records for statistics purposes and maintains civil rights as a citizen of the United States.
When reviewing someone’s record from MN, understanding the vocabulary and verbiage will assist in a thorough comprehension of the document.
Civil records include:
- bankruptcies of individual and corporate filings.
A lien is a security interest given on an article of property by a person to their creditor to ensure that they carry out the payment or obligation to their creditor. The person who is granting the lien is the lienor, and the person who receives the lien is the lienee.
Under the lien, the lienee may usually stake a claim on the piece of property until the debt is paid off. In the United States, liens include mortgages as well.
Another thing you should know is that there are voluntary and involuntary liens–voluntary meaning that the lien has been put into place by a contract between debtor and creditor, and involuntary meaning that the lien is automatically put into place by law, to put it simply.
There are a few different kinds of liens that you should know about. The first type is a tax lien, which is of the involuntary sort and which you don’t have to worry about unless you make a habit of dodging your taxes. A tax lien is put over a piece of property to ensure the payment of delinquent (unpaid) taxes owed on real or personal property, or maybe because you failed to pay your income or other taxes.
- To access tax lien records in Minnesota you can search on the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State website. It’s free if you know the number of the file and $20 if you want to search by debtor’s name. I would recommend the option of having an online account and paying a yearly subscription fee of $75 if you’re going to find it necessary to request tax lien records frequently.
Another type of lien, this time of the voluntary kind, is a mortgage. A mortgage is a security interest of real estate (most commonly, but can also be any type of valuable property) that is held by the creditor until the debtor is able to pay off the debt. Once the debt is repaid, the property rights are returned to the property owner. If the debt is not repaid, the creditor can foreclose on the property and the property is taken. Mortgage loans are commonly used as means to purchase real estate by individuals or corporations, without having to pay the full value up front.
A mechanic’s lien is another type of lien that is also involuntary. They are also called construction liens, among other names, and imply a lien extended to a construction company, architect, or materials supplier to secure payment for the “improvement” of property.
This includes all services, labor, and material used.
- A construction company might be granted a mechanic’s lien to make sure they get paid for a house that they built. In Minnesota, the lien must be filed with the county recorder within 120 days of the work having been completed and payment not having been made, or the claim to a lien will be forfeit. After the lien has been granted, the lienor must enforce the lien within one year or it is no longer valid.
Other kinds of liens are attorney’s liens, which are liens to secure the payment of attorney fees, and also maritime liens, which are liens placed on ships through admiralty law, and probably not something you need to worry about unless you own a ship.
Another item that civil records keep track of is court judgments. Court judgments are the final ruling that a court will place on a case, whereby the case is closed and no longer open to further action by the court, unless there is a valid appeal.
- Judgment records made within the last 10 years can be searched and accessed from the Hennepin County courthouse database in Minneapolis. If judgments are not renewed after 10 years they expire and are usually destroyed. If the judgment is renewed it will be kept on file in the Hennepin County government center.
- Certain records are also available in the online database, but there are exclusions such as information on harassment and domestic abuse cases (for obvious reasons including protection of those involved). You also cannot find street addresses and name searches related to petty misdemeanors and traffic violations. However, all these are available in the courthouse.
Judgment liens are also involuntary and put in place at the time of the judge’s ruling at the end of a court case. Often, a court ruling entails the payment of funds from one member of the case to the other, however often the person owing doesn’t pay up.
This is why judgment liens exist; the lien is placed on a piece of the debtor’s property which gives the person who is owed money the right to funds procured from the sale of the property. A judgment lien can be attached to numerous forms of property, including real estate or any other valuable property like jewelry and art.
Bankruptcies are also recorded in the Minnesota Civil Registry. Bankruptcy is declared by an individual or corporation when they can’t repay their outstanding debts to their creditors.
Believe it or not, bankruptcy is actually a good thing.
- In ancient Greece if someone couldn’t pay off their debts they and their family were forced into “debt slavery” until the debt was paid off.
When someone files bankruptcy in the United States, usually the debt is dismissed or it’s restructured to allow the debtor more time to pay it off or lessen the amount of the debt, which is getting off quite easy.
Minnesotans are supposed to have the “Minnesota Nice” gene in them, but in the event you are screening an employee, background checking a nanny, or doing some research on yourself—it won’t make much difference if you don’t understand what is being written in the report. Become familiar with liens, judgments, and bankruptcies; they will frequent a consumer report and delicately describe an individual’s standing.
Categories: State News and Tips