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Lien records

Los Angeles, CA |

I'm trying to understand on how lien is being recorded.

A creditor won a judgment against me. I called the LA Country Recorder office, and spoke to someone there, that searched my record. However, she told me that record is searched based on name and not real property ?

I'm confused. I thought a lien is placed against your real property, not your name ?

Please advise.

I'm still trying to understand the sequence of process. So if the court issued an abstract of judgment, does the court need to mail this out to all parties, so that the creditor can take this 'judgment letter' to the recorder office and it becomes a judgment lien ? OR The abstract judgment already becomes an judgment lien against me on the day the court issued it without having the creditor bringing it to the recorder office ? I appreciate any advise and feedback...!!!

Attorney Answers 4


  1. An abstract of judgment (a judgment lien) is recorded against your name, not any specific real property.

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  2. When recorded, an abstract of judgment attaches to any real property located in the county (ie., Los Angeles County) that is owned by the individual whom the judgment was entered against.

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  3. The other attorneys are correct, the recorded abstract of judgment affects all real property recorded with the defendant's name, not any particular parcel.

    Please see my blog posting regarding learning of a default judgment. If you were not properly served with the summons and complaint, then you should promptly consult and retain an attorney with experience representing consumers in a debt collection lawsuit, to set aside the default judgment and defend you in this case. That will also remove the recorded lien and protect you from enforcement of this judgment, such as wage garnishment and a levy on your bank account. Please mention this posting on Avvo, if you contact my office for a free consultation.

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  4. I agree with my colleagues. Also know that if an abstract of judgment is recorded against you, it will cause a lien to be created not only agains real property you own in that county now, but also any real property that you might acquire in that county later. You can search the county records under your name to find out whether anything has been recorded against you. Hope this helps.