For a lump sum judgment in California, a Judgment Creditor can place a lien on real property by an Abstract of Judgment. A Judgment Creditor is the party who prevailed in a typical lawsuit involving money, who received a monetary award against the other party. The party who lost in such a case is often called a Judgment Debtor. Such cases can occur in almost every conceivable field of practice. The Abstract of Judgment is a Judicial Council Form, 2 pages, and requires you to fill in information including but not limited to the Judgment amount, and the contact information of the parties. Code of Civil Procedure Section 674 specifies the specific contents required in an Abstract of Judgment. Once completely filled out, it is issued by the Clerk of the Court with a filing fee.
Record the Abstract of Judgment
The judgment lien on real property is created by recording a properly completed Abstract of Judgment within the county recorder's office where the Judgment Debtor holds property. If this is in more than one county, then a different Abstract of Judgment should be recorded in each such county. Once properly completed and recorded, it becomes a lien on real property located in the county of recordation, even if, for example, the property is acquired at a later date. In theory, it is attaching to the property owned by a Judgment Debtor, according to the Judgment Debtor's name. why do this? Well for example, upon that property's sale the Abstract of Judgment should appear in a title search and will have to be cleared, i.e. paid or released, for the sale to go thru!
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