How to File a Lien on Real Property in Florida

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Filing a real property lien in Florida is a way to enforce collection of a court judgment. Florida has two different ways for a creditor to file a judgment lien against real estate: in county land records and with the Florida Department of State. Judgment lien certificates filed with the Florida Department of State stay valid for five years after the file date, and real property liens recorded in the land records stay valid for 10 years after the file date. Filing with a judgment lien certificate gives you legal priority as creditor, while filing in the Florida land records grants you interest in the debtor's property.

Things You'll Need

  • Certified judgment copies
  • Certificate of judgment lien form
  • Go to the official website of the Florida Department of Revenue for property assessors' contact information by county. Check the official website of each assessor; some offer real property information online. Contact the county assessment offices that do not have an online search and ask the assessor to check for real estate owned by the debtor. Make a list of all counties the debtor owns property in.

  • Go to the court clerk's office in the court that granted the judgment. Ask for certified copies of the judgment for each Florida county on the ownership list.

  • Visit the recording division of each county clerk's office of the circuit court. File the certified judgment copy in each county clerk's office on the list. Request a date-stamped copy for record keeping.

  • Visit the official website of the Florida Department of State. Download and print the "Judgment Lien Certificate" form. Locate the legal interest rate for the judgment. Check the interest tables on the Florida Department of State's official website for interest rates by judgment year.

  • Complete the judgment lien form. You must include the name and addresses of all debtors on the judgment; the name and address of the judgment creditor and his attorney; the amount due and the legal interest rate; and the judgment case number, court and entry date.

  • Sign and date the form. Attach a check or money order payable to "Florida Department of State" for the filing fee. The fee is $20 as of 2011 for a lien with a single debtor.

  • Mail the "Judgment Lien Certificate" form to Department of State; Division of Corporations; Judgment Liens; PO Box 6250; Tallahassee, FL 32314.

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