Public websites offer insight into your personal information

PHOENIX - There are lots little nuggets about all of us just floating around in cyberspace.

Lots of that information, comes from common public records like court cases and property taxes.

But there are others that you probably never considered--but you may want to start paying attention to.

Car Liens

You let me know about this all the time--negotiating a price, signing the deal, driving off the lot in a used car. Only to find out there is a lien when you try to register it. Well, if you have a $1.50 and a Vehicle Identification Number, the Arizona Department of Transportation runs a website that lets you check for liens before you buy the car. A small price to pay for to make sure your car's title is clear.

Property Liens

If someone's got a judgment against you that you don't know about--they might be entitled to file a lien on your house or property. It's a good idea to check the Arizona Secretary of State's website to run a search for any unexpected liens. This one is free and can yield results by searching for your name. 


They aren't just for murderers and thieves. They can also be issued for seemingly harmless crimes, like not appearing in court for a traffic ticket or getting behind on child support payments. And if you don't know about them they can quickly spiral into a legal nightmare. You can easily check for warrants here. The website is run by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office but has warrant information for the entire state.

Let me know about your consumer issues by emailing me at or by "Liking" my Let Joe Know Facebook Page   and telling me about it there.

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