A sovereign headache

Credit the “sovereign citizen” movement with forcing states to deal with the filing of spurious liens.

The trickledown of this obnoxious practice, often called “paper terrorism,” is that Mesa County is considering changes in how it records liens. There’s a push from clerk and recorder offices across the state to automatically notify a person when a lien has been placed on his or her property.

Without some sort of notification procedure in place, victims of false liens rarely know about them until they impede title transactions. The time and effort to litigate and clean the title can cost victims thousands in attorney fees and delay sales and refinances of real estate, not to mention the damage done to credit ratings.

Notification is good idea, not just for unwitting victims, but for anyone facing a legitimate claim on his or her property. Like any upgrade in service, however, it comes with a cost. Mesa County commissioners will have to decide if the benefit to the community justifies whatever outlay is needed to upgrade and maintain an electronic notification system.


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