If a defendant(male) owns several properties with a woman(relationship unknown) in Los Angeles county and I file an abstract of judgment with the county recorder, does the judgment lien attach to all properties or only one? After the judgment lien is recorded, can the defendant quitclaim or transfer the property to a friend or relative and if so, how do I protect my lien?
A properly completed and recorded abstract will attach to all real estate interests of the judgment debtor in the county. It will also attach to property the debtor may come into in the future.
Yes, the debtor can transfer title, but the person receiving it will take subject to your judgment lien (again, assuming the abstract was properly completed and issued). So you can pursue a sheriff sale, for example, and the purchaser at the sale will buy the interest as of the date your abstract was recorded.
Depending on how the transfer was handled you may also have a claim for a fraudulent transfer.
And abstract of judgment is a great way to begin enforcement activity. Often it makes sense to take other steps in addition.
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