Extending California Judgment Liens on Real Property

When California judgments are renewed, creditors must be careful to preserve any judgment liens against real property in California. Renewing a judgment extends for 10 years a judgment lien on real property created pursuant to the judgment (i.e., an Abstract of Judgment) provided that, before expiration of the judgment lien, a certified copy of the renewal application is recorded with the county recorder where the property subject to the lien is located. See CCP 683.180(a).

If the creditor does not extend the judgment lien, the creditor may still record an abstract of the renewed judgment and obtain a new judgment lien dating from the recording date. However, an intervening lienholder may have come into existence.

If ownership of the debtor’s real property subject to the judgment lien has been transferred and the transfer was recorded before the renewal application was filed, the judgment lien is not extended unless a copy of the renewal application is personally served on the transferee and proof of service is filed within 90 days after filing of the renewal application. See CCP 683.180(b).

In California, creditors with judgment liens against real property should file judgment renewal applications well before the 10-year time period so that a certified copy of the renewal application can be recorded before expiration of the 10-year period.

For assistance with respect to judgment liens in California, feel free to contact our firm.

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