Convert Judgments from Federal to NY State

Photo of the Supreme Courthouse.Yes, it is possible. You can convert judgments from Federal to NY State. If you researched New York’s policy of recognizing judgments obtained in other states or countries as an out-of-state attorney, you might be concerned. That’s because you discovered that New York State does not recognize judgments obtained on default or by consent. Be that as it may, don’t worry. Regardless of that fact, a Federal court judgment easily converts to a NY State judgment.

NY’s discriminatory policy – not recognizing out-of-state judgments obtained on default or by consent – does not apply to Federal court judgments. That pertains even if the judgment was obtained on default.

Why Convert Judgments From Federal to NY State

Converting a Federal court judgment into a NY state court judgment is an excellent opportunity for judgment creditors. That’s because they may wish to avail themselves of New York’s liberal judgment enforcement policies. Included in those enforcement policies is the 20-year validity of a NY state judgment. Additionally, a lien on real property is good for 10 years and easily renewable.

That is not to say that you cannot execute on a Federal court judgment in New York. But, your failure to convert the Federal court judgment into a New York State judgment could be a problem. It’s important to realize that the Federal court judgment will not act as a lien on real property. Besides that, it may not be valid for 20 years.

In comparison to New York State’s requirements, executing on a Federal court judgment is substantially more formal and expensive.

How to Convert Judgments from Federal to NY State

The process of converting a Federal court judgment to a NY State judgment is relatively straightforward. The process is as follows:

  • Contact the clerk of the court that entered the Federal judgment. Ask for a certified copy of the judgment. Also, ask for the Federal clerk’s Form AO 451 for registering on another district.
  • Once obtained, the Form AO 451 and accompanying certified copy of the judgment may be registered in New York at any of the US District Courts.
  • Purchase an abstract of judgment from the NY US District Court.
  • File the abstract and required fee with the county clerk in the county where the judgment debtor owns property. Beware: You will only lien real property in the county where you filed the abstract.
  • Because the lien is not statewide, if you believe that the debtor has an interest in more than one of New York’s 62 counties, you must repeat the process.
  • Either purchase a transcript of judgment from the NY county clerk or purchase more than one abstract of judgment from the NY Federal court so that you can file the abstract of judgment with the clerk in the county where the debtor owns the property.

FFGN is local and familiar with the process. We can help with filing the certified judgment and AO 451 with the NY US district court. Aside from that, we can obtain the abstract of judgment so that we can convert the judgment to a NY State court judgment to lien any real property or to execute immediately against any assets belonging to the judgment debtor. We’re a phone call (212) 686-0100 or an email away.

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