When a jury or judge gives a verdict or when a court has already approved a settlement in any civil case, the court enters a judgment for the same. Generally, in a judgment, one party is required to pay money to another party. However, the individual who is supposed to pay the money (debtor) sometimes do not pay the money. It is with the help of judgment lien that a person who is supposed to receive the money (creditor) receives the money. With this lien, certain amount by selling the property of the debtor is paid to the creditor.
But how do these liens work? There is lot confusion related to judgment liens among the creditors as well as debtors and this post will make things a lot easier for you. Right from the type of property that can be attached in judgment liens, getting a judgment lien, to the duration of judgment lien, this post will talk about all the important things that you’d want to know about judgment liens in California.
Type of property that can be attached to judgment lien in California
The judgment lien in California can attach to real estate property of the debtor. This includes house, land, condo, and other similar types of properties. The lien can also be attached to personal property of the debtor, like jewelry, antiques, art, and other types of valuable items. Moreover, there are other states where the lien is only attached to the personal property of the debtor.
Getting judgment lien in the State of California
For attaching lien to the property of the debtor, a creditor is required to mail or take the judgment abstract to the office of the county recorder in any of the county in California where debtor is known to currently own a property or has plans to own one in future. If the lien is to be attached to a personal property, a creditor is required to file the Judgment Notice with State Secretary of California. The creditor can also serve an examination notice to the debtor.
Judgment lien duration
The judgment lien can stay attached to real estate or personal property up to 10 years even when the property is no longer owned by the debtor. Also, a creditor should renew the lien before it expires. Once the lien expires, it will no longer be enforceable and the creditor will not be able to get the money. After renewing the lien, it cannot be renewed again for 5 years. But make sure that you do renew the lien every 10 years before it expires.
However, a creditor should remember that there are several factors that are taken into consideration when it comes to the ability to collect under judgment lien. This includes fixed amount which cannot be touched by the creditor if the attached property is the primary residence of the debtor, other liens which can be replaced, and bankruptcy proceedings or foreclosure.
If a creditor is finding it difficult to get the judgment lien from the debtor or if the matter is too complex to understand, it is highly recommended that one should get in touch with a professional debt and bankruptcy attorney in California. The attorney will make it easier for the creditor to understand the whole process and will also recommend the steps that can be taken to get the judgment lien successfully from the debtor.
How to know more about judgment liens?
No matter if you need to pay judgment lien or receive it or just want to know more about judgment lien, you can know more about judgment lien related laws of California by looking at relevant statute(s) which can be found at Cal. Civ. Proc. Code sections 697.310, 697.340.
While getting a judgment lien seems to be a simple process, a lot of times it can be very difficult for a creditor to get the money from the debtor. As a result, if any creditor fails to understand the entire process, rather than losing all the money, it is better to take professional help. While the attorney will take a percentage of the lien amount, you’ll at least have the peace of knowing that the matters are handled in a professional manner.