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) ?
Consumer Protection Attorney
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.
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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.
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Construction / Development Lawyer
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.