Q: I had to turn in my car because I could not make the payments anymore. My home is in my sister’s and my name. Can the bank that gave me the car loan put a lien on my on my home? If they can and I go to sell it what will happen? Do they get whatever money is left over or will it block the sale of the home?

A: We’re sorry you’re having financial difficulties. Many people are in a similar situation these days.

Here’s the story: If the value of your car was less than what you owed on the car, the finance company can still sue you for the amount you owe.

If the finance company does come after you, sues you and gets a judgment against you, they can use that judgment to place a lien on your home. If you and your sister sell the home before the bank gets a judgment and files a lien against you, the bank won’t be able to stop the sale but will want to get any money that you might have gotten from the sale of the home.

If you haven’t sold the home and the bank places a lien on the home, you won’t be able to sell the home unless you pay off the lien. If the home doesn’t sell for enough to pay off the existing mortgage lender or it’s just enough to pay off the existing mortgage lender, you would have to work with the finance company to release their lien on the home and allow the sale to move forward.

Please talk to a real estate attorney for more details.

Jan. 19, 2009.