Definition of "Abstract of judgment"

Oscar Velez real estate agent

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John R. Wood Properties

The abstract of judgment definition is best explained as a written summary of the judgment passed by a court. This abstract of judgment includes the amount of money the losing party of a lawsuit owes to the winning party, the interest rate on that amount, the court costs, as well as any other orders that have to be obeyed by the losing party. Both sides acknowledge the abstract of judgment. It is then stamped and recorded officially with the chosen government.

The clerk court is the one responsible for preparing the abstract of judgment. The government where the abstract of judgment is recorded, however, is also important as it’s usually recorded in the property records of the county where it is believed that the debtor owns or has an interest in real estate property.

Abstract of Judgement and Real Estate Property?

Upon losing a lawsuit, a judgment is ordered on the losing party, and the abstract of judgment is made. The losing party of a lawsuit or the judgment debtor must adhere to this abstract of judgment by paying what they owe to the judgment creditor or lawsuit winner. As mentioned above, this abstract of judgment is recorded in the county’s property records.

But why is it recorded there? It’s simple. The creditor is entitled to force the sale of any property the debtor owns so that they can compensate for the judgment’s amount if the judgment is not paid by the debtor does not pay.

The abstract of judgment also prohibits the transfer of property. In case the judgment debtor does not pay the judgment, then the abstract of judgment is used as a judgment lien on real estate property owned by the debtor. This judgment lien prevents the owner from transferring the property until they pay the judgment. The abstract of judgment also allows the judgment creditor to force-sell the property to collect, as mentioned above.

Obstacles of Abstract of Judgments?

There are a few instances where the abstract of judgment can not go into effect. The following situations can hinder the judgment creditor from enforcing the judgment’s payment:

  • It can not always be easy to find the county where the judgment’s debtor owns real estate property and, by extension, the abstract of judgment can not record in the correct county so that it can enforce the payment.
  • Any secured loans, mortgages, tax liens come before the judgment lien and will make it impossible to enforce the judgment’s payment if any other debts or payments need to be completed first.
  • If the debtor goes bankrupt, any method of paying the judgment is made impossible.

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