Judgment Liens Explained

money-judgment When it comes to lawsuits of any kind there are generally many terms that you might not recognize or are unsure of their meaning. It is important to know these definitions and what they mean for you and your lawsuit.

One term many people do not know much about is a judgment lien. It sounds harmless, but in actuality a judgment lien can affect you greatly.

It is a type of lien that gets created when someone wins a lawsuit against you and records the judgment against your property. They must record the judgment by filing it with the county or state. In some states, the judgment automatically creates a lien on real estate that you own in that county so the judgment creditor does not have to record the judgment.

When it comes to a judgment lien, they can be attached to a handful of different types of property, such as the following:

Personal property – in a lot of states a judgment lien can apply to your personal property other than real estate for a period of time after the judgment. Often times this proves to be ineffective because most personal property does not have a title so the liens are not recorded.

Real estate – a judgment lien on your real estate affects all the real estate you own in the county where the lien is recorded.

Vehicles – creditors have the ability to file a judgment with the state’s motor vehicle department, effectively getting a lien on any truck, car, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle you own.

Lastly, a judgment lien can also be recorded in a county and attach itself to property you acquire later in life. That’s right, you can go to buy real estate later in life only to find out the new property is burdened by that judgment lien. The silver lining is that most liens expire after a certain number of years, typically between seven and 10 years in most states.

Judgment liens can certainly be a burden but you can get rid of some in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Consulting an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you figure out your best move when it comes to handling your judgment lien.

In New Jersey, the law office of Joel R. Spivack can help you deal with your judgment lien and any other bankruptcy needs or questions. All you have to do is call 856-488-1200 today to setup a free initial consultation.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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Attorney Joel R. Spivack is an experienced bankruptcy and residential real estate transactions lawyer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Clients come to us for legal services, but what we really provide is peace of mind. For more than 30 years, Attorney Spivack has helped people make wise, informed decisions about bankruptcy filings, debt relief options and residential real estate transactions.
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