What is a New York Judgement Lien

In New York when you have not paid a debt, your creditor can seek compensation by obtaining a lien against your property. Judgment liens against real or personal property can be awarded in court. In civil matters, this can take place after a verdict is given by a judge, jury or when a court approved settlement is reached.

With a typical judgment, the court orders payment to be made to the aggrieved party. However, the person who owes the money doesn’t always pay. A judgment lien is one way to ensure that the person who won the judgment receives payment. In a judgment lien, the creditor has a right to receive a portion of money from proceeds from the sale of the debtor’s property.

In New York, judgment liens can be attached to debtor’s real estate. This type of real property includes real estate such as houses, condos and land. In addition, New York also allows personal property to be used to secure judgment liens. Jewellery, vehicles, art and antiques are just some of the kinds of valuable property that can be used to satisfy a lien.

How does a creditor go about getting a judgment lien in New York?

When you are a creditor who desires to place a lien against someone, you’ll have to file a judgment transcript with the county clerk in the New York county where the debtor’s property is located.

New York judgment liens are attached to a debtor’s property for ten years, regardless of a change in property ownership. This is yet another important reason for conducting a title search when you purchase property.

How does a creditor collect?

A creditor’s ability to collect under a judgment lien is dependent upon the many factors.

Because of the homestead exemption, a portion of a home’s value cannot be touched when it is the debtor’s primary residence. Other liens, foreclosures or bankruptcy proceedings may also affect the value that can be collected. In situations where you need clarification, consulting a New York Attorney can help. The Law Office of Stephen B. Kass is knowledgeable in all NY lien issues and can help you understand and resolve the legal issues related to your situation.

Liens, Judgments and UCC’s

Satisfaction of Judgment and Partial Satisfaction of Judgment forms can be found online. These forms will be available at the County Site. Those given above are for Suffolk County. UCC Forms on the NYS website are also available. The following list of forms is available for purchase from private companies online and at most legal stationery stores. The County Clerk’s Office does not provide these legal forms.

Filing a Transcript of Judgment

To file a transcript once you are awarded a judgment from a District or Justice County Court, you must obtain the original transcript from the court that awarded the judgment and file it with the County Clerk’s Office.

Obtaining A Property Execution

Once you’ve filed your transcript of judgment with the County Clerk, request a property execution (Form #199) to attempt collection of your judgment.

Garnishing A Debtor’s Wages

If you are attempting to garnish the salary of a judgment debtor, you must obtain an Income Execution Form (Form T439) from a legal stationery store or the internet.

Obtaining Proof of Satisfaction

When you need proof of a Satisfaction of Judgment for a credit reporting agency or a real estate closing, access the Judgment Retrieval System to determine if the judgment is satisfied.

Discharging Judgments Through Bankruptcy

Once a judgment’s been discharged, you’ll need to obtain a certified copy of the Bankruptcy Court’s order directing the Suffolk County Clerk to discharge the judgment, and file the order with the County Clerk. Included in the order must be the specifics of each judgment being discharged, with the County Clerk directed to discharge those judgments. If the order does not specifically direct the County Clerk to discharge the judgments, it cannot be accepted by the Clerk. If you have judgments in more than one county, you will need a separate order for each county. A Discharge of Debtor from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court cannot be accepted. You must provide a Certified Copy of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court order.

When judgments appear on your credit report

You may get more information by contacting EquifaxExperian and Trans Union Corp.

You can find NY Law related to satisfaction of judgment online. NY Court information is available on the NY State Unified Court System site. The Law Office of Stephen B. Kass can help you understand and solve NY State specific lien issues.


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