GEORGIA Real Estate Attorneys - does a Judgment lien have to be paid ?

Asked over 1 year ago - Athens, GA

If I have a FiFa (judgment lien) against a person, and they refinance their mortgage, is the lender (or the Title Co.) required to pay the lien before closing the loan ? If they've closed the loan, and I notify them later that the lien exists (they missed it), can I force them to pay the lien ?

How to do I force payment of the judgment lien (FiFa) ?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Kris K. Skaar

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyer agrees

    Best Answer
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    Answered . In a perfect world, the attorney handling the closing of the refinance loan would make sure that your FiFa (as well as any other lien of record in that county) was satisfied (i.e., paid).

    If for some reason, the FiFa was not paid at the time of the refinance, in theory you would have the highest priority lien on the property and you could seek to foreclose (or levy and execute on the property). However, this is complicated by the fact that Georgia recognizes the doctrines of equitable subordination and equitable subrogation which sometimes excuses the failure to clear liens.

    Skaar & Feagle, LLP maintains offices in Marietta (770 427 5600) and Decatur (404 373 1970), Georgia. The... more
  2. Donald F. Hawbaker


    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . I agree with Ms. Skaar; however, you don't know exactly what lien position you're in until you take some action. If you would like to discuss this, call me at 404 668 3790.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to... more
  3. Thomas Richelo

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . There can be a lot of complications to your situation but one thing is clear: If you have a valid judgment and the lien has not been satisfied, you still have a lien. A judgment lien is not just against the real property, it is against all of the debtor's assets. I agree that you need to have counsel assess whether you are likely to have an equitable subordination situation. But if the refi lender cannot get priority over you, you would have a lot of leverage.

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