Property deferral agreements are liens

This is in response to the March 22 Viewpoint, “Roadway improvement obligations are not being hidden from property owners,” regarding deferral agreements on many properties in Maui County.

The Viewpoint writer, in response to the March 2 Viewpoint, “Liens need to be removed,” contends the deferral agreements are not liens but simply recorded agreements in the state’s Bureau of Conveyances.

The writer goes on: “Since these agreements are recorded in the state’s Bureau of Conveyances, they appear on a title report when one purchases a property and would be listed as an encumbrance on the deed to the property.”

Allow me to set the record straight on that statement.

In law, a lien is a form of security interest granted over an item of property to secure the payment or performance of some other obligation.

In the United States, the term lien generally refers to a wide range of encumbrances.

These recorded deferral agreements on properties do, in fact, affect title. More importantly, they are liens, any reasonable person could conclude.

Finally, the system upon collecting on these agreements does not fall on the responsibility of a property owner to seek an opinion of a civil engineer on the costs. The responsibility on collecting upon these deferral agreements, or rather liens, falls squarely on the shoulders of the county, the entity that recorded them in the first place. It’s not only the county’s responsibility but it’s also its duty to the citizens it represents.

Bond A. Rowe