After a judge or jury hands down a verdict in a civil case, the court enters a judgment. A judgment may also result from a settlement between parties. As part of a judgment, the court orders one party (the debtor) to pay money to another (the creditor). However, the debtor in a case doesn’t always pay as required. A judgment lien is one method that courts use to ensure that judgments are satisfied. A judgment lien gives a creditor the right to receive a certain amount of money from the proceeds of the sale of a debtor’s property. In this article, we discuss the basics of judgment liens in California.
Judgment Lien Property Types
In California, a judgment lien can attach to multiple types of property, including real estate (e.g., a house, condo, or other types of property interest) and personal property (e.g., art, jewelry, or antiques).
The California Judgment Lien Process
In order to attach a judgment lien to real estate in California, a creditor may take or mail a court judgment to the county recorder’s office where a debtor owns real estate. For personal property, a creditor may either file a notice of judgment lien with the California Secretary of State or serve the debtor with a notice of a debtor’s examination.
Judgment Lien Timeline
In California, a judgment lien remains attached to a debtor’s property for ten years. This applies even if the property changes hands during this time.
Judgment Lien Limitations
In California, a creditor’s ability to collect under a judgment lien may be limited by several factors, including
- other liens that may be in place,
- a homestead exemption amount if the property is a debtor’s primary residence, and
- any related bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings.
Judgment Lien Removal
Any property owner who has a judgment lien attach to his or her property should take immediate action. There are several options available to remove a judgment lien from a piece of property, including negotiations, a court order, bankruptcy, and paying off the debt that resulted in the lien. However, regardless of the options that may be available to you in your unique case, the best way to address a judgment lien is with the help of an experienced California attorney. A California judgment lien removal attorney will help you explore your options and choose the best course of action for your situation.
Act Now to Remove or Settle Your Judgment Lien
Debt collectors sometimes make mistakes when filing lawsuits, and this results in erroneous judgment liens. If you’ve had a lien placed on your property in California, you should contact a California attorney for assistance. At the Fullman Firm, our knowledgeable judgment lien attorneys will do everything in our power to ensure that your California judgment lien case is a success. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.