I Want My Judgment to Become a Lien on Property in New York.

Do you have an out of state Judgment or a Judgment that was entered in New York? If so, you will want to lien property owned by a Judgment debtor. This article addresses how your Judgment can become a lien on property in New York.

Putting a lien on property belonging to your Judgment debtor is one of the best tools to help get you paid. Do not miss the opportunity to lien property.

Since New York does not have a statewide lien, a Judgment is not necessarily an automatic lien on property in New York. Deliberate steps must be taken for your Judgment to become a lien.

What determines whether your Judgment becomes a lien?

There are several variables that come into play which determine whether your Judgment becomes a lien on real property. They are:

1. The Court where the Judgment was entered.

If your Judgment was entered in the Supreme Court of one of New York’s sixty-two (62) counties, it will act as an automatic lien on property owned by the Judgment debtor in that same county.

If, however the Judgment was not entered in the Supreme Court but instead was entered in a lower Court, the Judgment will not act as an automatic lien in that County or any other.

Steps must be taken to “docket” the Judgment with the county Clerk in that County to lien the property in that same county so that your Judgment will become a lien on property owned in that very same county.

2. The county in which the property is owned.

Your Judgment debtor may own property in the same or other counties in New York. Taking steps predetermined by the Courts, you are to take your Judgment from one county and “docket” it in other counties to lien properties in the other counties.

3. The type of property owned by the Judgment debtor.

New York is famous for its condos and co-ops, brownstones, townhouses, homes and estates. The type of property owned by the Judgment debtor directly affects your ability to lien the property, for example, if your Judgment debtor owns a co-op, they own shares in a corporation. They do not own real property. There are other ways to affect the Judgment debtor’s interest in the co-op but you cannot lien shares in a co-op.

4. The term of the lien.

A Judgment entered in New York is valid for 20 years but it will act as a lien for only ten (10) years. You can, with Court permission, renew the lien for an additional 10 years.  If you fail to request permission from the Court for an extension, your lien expires: you no longer have one.

Consider the Judgment creditor that fails to extend their lien for the additional ten (10) year period.  If you have a smart Judgment debtor, they can wait for the lien to lapse (even on the first day) after your lien expires, and sell their property without having to satisfy or consider your lien. This happens all the time.

Need help?

The process can be confusing. Insuring that your Judgment becomes a lien is essential, you want to be sure to get it right.

Placing liens on real property owned by Judgment debtors is part of a collection attorney’s strategy in collecting Judgments.

If you have a Judgment that you wish to convert to a lien on real property in New York contact FFGN, for a free consultation. We have the experience that pays……