Skip to main content

What does a state tax lien do?

A Notice of State Tax Lien filed at a county Register of Deeds becomes a public record. Credit reporting agencies, legal news services and newspapers may obtain and publish the lien information. As a result, creditors may gain knowledge that the Michigan Department of Treasury has a claim against your property, including property you acquired after the lien was filed. Courts and financial institutions may use the lien to establish a claim/priority in certain situations, such as bankruptcy proceedings or during the sale of real estate.


It is important that the tax liability is resolved as quickly as possible before filing a lien becomes necessary.

A tax lien:

  • will have a negative effect on your credit rating and in most cases, property, (e.g. house, car) cannot be sold or transferred until the past-due tax is paid
  • is filed at a county Register of Deeds and becomes public record.
  • filed against an individual or business obtained by a credit reporting agency will remain part of their credit history for the next seven to ten years.