When a person fails to seek bankruptcy protection in time, creditors can place involuntary or judgment liens on their assets. Often, creditors d this without notice. In this article, we examine the ways in which an experienced California attorney can assist with the removal of judgment liens.
What Is a Judgment Lien?
A judgment lien is a monetary amount that is placed against a home or other property belonging to the owner of the property. A judgment lien can attach to nearly any type of property, including:
- Real estate
- Personal property
The Impact of Judgment Liens
A judgment lien is usually the last step that a creditor takes in order to enforce its judgment against a debtor. Although some people believe a judgment lien is similar to a mortgage (and therefore not a big deal), a judgment lien can seriously affect one’s financial situation. For example, a judgment lien can make it nearly impossible to refinance one’s home. Therefore, it’s important to immediately address a judgment lien as soon as it attaches to a piece of property.
Length of Judgment Liens in California
In California, a judgment lien remains attached to a piece of property for 10 years, and it can remain on the property even after a change in ownership.
How Do You Remove a Lien?
Given the seriousness of judgment liens, any property owner who has a judgment lien attached to his or her property should address it immediately. Luckily, with the assistance of an experienced California attorney, there are several ways to resolve a judgment lien, including:
- Pay the debt: If you have a valid judgment lien against your property, paying the creditor in full will remove the lien.
- Negotiate with creditors: With the help of an attorney, you may be able to work out a settlement with your creditor to remove a judgment lien. Through negotiation, it may be possible to reduce the amount owed or lower your monthly payments.
- Obtain a court order: If the lien on your property was obtained through illegitimate means or the creditor failed to follow proper lien procedures, your attorney can request that the lien be removed.
- File for bankruptcy: Bankruptcy eliminates most judgments. The automatic stay in a bankruptcy case can also stop judgment enforcement actions and provide you with time to get your finances in order. However, you should consult with an attorney prior to making the decision to file for bankruptcy.
Act Now to Remove or Settle Your Judgment Lien
Debt collectors often make mistakes when filing lawsuits that result in judgment liens on people’s property. Therefore, if you’ve had a lien placed on your property in California, you should contact a California attorney immediately. At the Fullman Firm, our experienced judgment lien attorneys will do everything in our power to ensure that your case is a success. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.