How Long Is a Judgment Lien Good for in Florida?

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A judgment lien is placed on you or your property if you owe money to a person or entity, and that entity sues you, then wins the case. A lien is a legal document that states that you owe money, and is a legal claim against real or personal property, entered into the public records for your county, as security against the debt you owe. You can get rid of a judgment by paying it off. If you file bankruptcy, you may erase certain judgments. Once a judgment has been paid, the actual document stays on the public records, but a release is filed showing that the judgment was paid or dismissed in bankruptcy.

Child Support Judgment Liens

  • Florida Statutes 55.204(2) states that judgment liens as a result of child support obligations do not lapse until 20 years after the date of the original filing of the warrant or judgment that establishes the lien.

Unemployment Tax Obligations

  • If you owe unemployment tax, a lien may be placed on your record, and this type of lien lapses 10 years after the date of the original filing of the notice of lien. The lien holder cannot file a second lien on an unemployment tax lien, according to Florida Statutes 55.204(2).

Liens in General

  • Most liens expire after five years from the date of filing the judgment lien certificate. Certain liens, including child support and employment tax obligations have longer periods of time before the lien lapses. If you have a judgment lien against you that is not an exception, a second lien may be filed by the lien holder.

Second Liens

  • During the six months prior to the lapse of a lien and the six months after the lapse of a lien, the lien holder may file a second judgment lien by filing an new judgment lien certificate. The second lien starts on the date the new judgment lien certificate is filed and runs for the appropriate time -- in most cases, five years after its filing date. No additional liens may be acquired after the second lien.

Additional Time

  • Once a judgment lien lapses, an additional 90 days is tacked onto the lien for any itemized property. The property not only must be itemized, but its location must also be described in the lien and instructions for the levy had to have been delivered to the sheriff before the date of the lapse of the lien. The property must also be located in the county in which the sheriff has jurisdiction at the time of delivery of the levy.

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