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What’s a Judgment Lien?


A closeup of a man signing an express cash loan agreement

What’s a Judgment lien and the way it results you as debtor?

A judgment lien is a sort of authorized declare positioned on an individual’s property by a creditor to safe the fee of a debt owed by the property proprietor. When a creditor obtains a courtroom judgment in opposition to a debtor for a sum of cash, the creditor can then file a lien with the suitable authorities company, such because the county recorder’s workplace, to connect the lien to the debtor’s property.

The judgment lien offers the creditor a authorized proper to grab and promote the debtor’s property to fulfill the debt owed. The lien can apply to any actual property owned by the debtor, similar to a home or land, in addition to private property, similar to a automobile or checking account. The lien stays in impact till the debt is paid off or the property is bought, and it will probably influence the debtor’s credit score rating and skill to borrow cash.

It’s attainable to promote a property with a judgment lien, however the lien will must be glad earlier than the sale may be accomplished. When a property has a judgment lien connected to it, the lien holder has a authorized declare to the proceeds from the sale of the property as much as the quantity of the debt owed. Due to this fact, earlier than the sale may be accomplished, the lien holder should both launch the lien or agree to just accept a portion of the proceeds as fee in the direction of the debt owed.

If the property is bought for lower than the quantity of the debt owed, the lien holder should pursue the debtor for the remaining steadiness. If the property is bought for greater than the quantity of the debt owed, the lien holder could also be entitled to obtain the surplus proceeds, relying on the legal guidelines of the state the place the property is positioned.

It is necessary to notice that the presence of a judgment lien could make it harder to promote a property and will influence the worth of the property. It is at all times a good suggestion to seek the advice of with an skilled actual property agent and an lawyer to find out one of the best plan of action for promoting a property with a judgment lien.

It’s attainable to void a judgment in a Chapter 7 chapter below sure circumstances. If a judgment has been entered in opposition to you, however you haven’t but paid the debt or the creditor has not but positioned a lien in your property, you might be able to discharge the debt in your Chapter 7 chapter. Which means the debt is erased, and the creditor can’t take any additional authorized motion to gather it.

Nevertheless, if the creditor has already positioned a lien in your property, the lien is not going to be robotically voided by your chapter submitting. In some circumstances, you might be able to use a authorized process known as “lien avoidance” to take away the lien and shield your property from seizure. This usually requires the assistance of an skilled chapter lawyer. You should utilize the next web site to test to see in case you have a judgment issued in opposition to you.


keep away from a judgment lien by a chapter 7 chapter

Underneath federal chapter legislation, a debtor “might keep away from the fixing of a lien on an curiosity of the debtor in property to the extent that such lien impairs an exemption to which the debtor would have been entitled below subsection (b) of this part, if such lien is (a) a judicial lien . . . .” 11 U.S.C. § 522(f)(1)(a). The statute is meant to operate as to guard a debtor’s exempt property and to “thwart collectors, who, sensing an impending chapter, rush to courtroom to acquire a judgment to defeat the debtor’s exemptions.” Farrey v. Sanderfoot, 500 U.S. 291, 297 (1991). Underneath 11 U.S.C. § 522(f)(1), three circumstances have to be glad for a debtor to keep away from a lien:

(a)       the lien have to be a judicial lien;


(b)       the lien have to be mounted in opposition to an curiosity of the debtor in property; and


(c)       the lien should impair an exemption to which the debtor would in any other case be entitled. In re Jordana, 232 B.R. 469, 473 (tenth Cir. BAP 1999).


Offered a debtor meets the above standards, the liens on the property could also be prevented within the chapter case, no matter whether or not there may be some fairness within the property to help the claimed property exemption below 11 U.S.C. §522(f)(1).

void a judgment in accordance with New Jersey State Legislation

In case you filed for chapter throughout the state of New Jersey, and the case is over and a 12 months has handed because the chapter discharge, you should utilize a New Jersey statute to discharge a judicial lien on actual property.

N.J.S.A. § 2A:16-49.1 supplies:

At any time after 1 12 months has elapsed, since a bankrupt was discharged from his money owed, pursuant to the acts of Congress referring to chapter, he might apply, upon proof of his discharge, to the courtroom wherein a judgment was rendered in opposition to him, or to the courtroom of which it has turn out to be a judgment by docketing it, or submitting a transcript thereof, for an order directing the judgment to be canceled and discharged of document. If it seems upon the listening to that he has been discharged from the fee of that judgment or the debt upon which such judgment was recovered, an order shall be made directing stated judgment to be canceled and discharged of document; and thereupon the clerk of stated courtroom shall cancel and discharge the identical by coming into on the document or within the margin of the document of judgment, that the identical is canceled and discharged by order of the courtroom, giving the date of entry of the order of discharge. The place the judgment was a lien on actual property owned by the bankrupt previous to the time he was adjudged a bankrupt, and never topic to be discharged or launched below the provisions of the Chapter Act, the lien thereof upon stated actual property shall not be affected by stated order and could also be enforced, however in all different respects the judgment shall be of no power or validity, nor shall the identical be a lien on actual property acquired by him subsequent to his discharge in chapter. Discover of the applying, accompanied with copies of the papers upon which it’s made, have to be served upon the judgment creditor, or his lawyer of document in stated judgment, within the method prescribed in R.R. 4:5-1, et cetera, of The Revision of The Guidelines Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey (1953); 1 offered, nevertheless, nothing herein contained shall stop stated judgment however such discharge of document from getting used as a set-off in any motion wherein it in any other case might be used.

Within the case of Get together Parrot, Inc. v. Birthdays & Holidays, Inc., 673 A.second 293 (1996) the Courtroom clarified when the state courtroom process can be utilized if judgment nonetheless current after chapter and when it can’t. The difficulty in Get together Parrot was whether or not a judgment lien was topic to be discharged below the New Jersey statute. The Courtroom discovered that: the trial courtroom should first decide whether or not there was a levy on the true property. If there had been a levy, the trustee lacked the facility to keep away from the lien, and defendant, subsequently, might keep away from solely that a part of the lien that impaired his exemption rights. If there had been no levy, and plaintiff’s lien was topic to the trustee’s avoidance energy below § 544, the lien is now unenforceable.

Get together Parrot, 673 A.second at 178-79. In different phrases, if the judicial creditor imposed a levy on the true property, then the lien is avoidable solely to the extent that it impairs one in all your exemption rights; if there was no levy imposed on the true property, then the whole thing of the lien may be prevented.

It is necessary to notice that not all sorts of judgments are dischargeable in chapter, similar to judgments associated to fraud, willful and malicious damage, or sure sorts of taxes. It is at all times a good suggestion to seek the advice of with a chapter lawyer to find out your choices and one of the best plan of action to your particular scenario.



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