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Significance of Priority of Recording and Legal Efficacy of a Judgment

March 08, 2016 09:15AM
I plan to go to a Trustee Sale on a CA house. In researching the property I found a Judgment on the property. I am getting conflicting information. On one hand I hear that the Judgment will have to be paid off by me. On the other hand I read that a Judgment is against that person and not the property. Which answer is correct? Thank you so much.



First off, a judgment is against both the judgment debtor personally, and if the judgment was recorded, it will also automatically attach to any property titled in the debtor's name that is located in the county where the judgment was also recorded. A debtor who has a recorded abstract of judgment against him cannot buy more property nor refinance or resell his current property in the county, until the debtor pays off the holder of the recorded AJ.

The way Trustee Sales work in CA is that the foreclosing lien wipes off title all subordinately-recorded liens against the property ...even an abstract of judgment (AJ). So it's important to know the recording priority between the foreclosing trust deed (TD) versus the recording priority of the recorded AJ. If the judgment was recorded before the foreclosing TD then it won't be extinguished by that foreclosure. However if the AJ was recorded after the trust deed then it will be wiped off title by the senior lien's foreclosure.

Another thing you should check out is the age of the AJ. If it's more than 10 years old, and a renewal of judgment hasn't been recorded, then it will be null and void and will have no legal impact on anything. So look at the face of the recorded judgment to find its "date of entry" and add ten more years to determine its current efficacy.

Hope this helps.


Subject Author Views Posted

Trustee Sale with a Judgment

Mattie 4504 March 07, 2016 07:26PM

Re: Trustee Sale with a Judgment

Island Time 2744 March 07, 2016 11:36PM

Re: Trustee Sale with a Judgment

Mattie 2650 March 08, 2016 08:51PM

Significance of Priority of Recording and Legal Efficacy of a Judgment

Ward-CA 2927 March 08, 2016 09:15AM

Re: Significance of Priority of Recording and Legal Efficacy of a Judgment

AvoCarl 2450 August 28, 2016 02:40PM

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