A new Connecticut law is resulting in the release of existing Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) liens on real property, and is also limiting the extent to which the state can lien real property to recover public assistance payments in the future.

According to Sections 3 and 4 of Public Act 21-3, any lien filed pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §§ 17b-79 and 17b-93 and filed prior to July 1, 2021 to secure the state’s right to recover cash assistance or medical assistance, shall be deemed released by the state unless the recovery of that public assistance is required by federal law.

On the CT.gov website, the DSS has announced that “…if the Department of Social Services has placed a lien on your house, we want you to know that we are in the process of releasing all property liens, effective July 1, 2021.” According to the announcement, the DSS is issuing formal lien releases to all towns to be recorded in the land records.

The new law also provides that on or after July 1, 2021, the state will not place a lien on real property, and the state will not recover cash or medical assistance from a lien filed on any real property, unless required by federal law.

This new law will facilitate closings on properties that are presently encumbered by a lien filed pursuant to either §17b-79, §17b-93 or their predecessor statutes.