Judgment Liens Against Real Property in California – Part 4

After a creditor has obtained a judgment lien by recording an Abstract of Judgment, it is important to understand the duration of such judgment lien.  Unless the judgment is earlier satisfied or the judgment lien is released, a real property judgment lien typically remains in effect for 10 years from the date of entry of the judgment.  See CCP § 697.310(b).

The answer is different for family law support judgments.  Support judgment liens continue during the period the judgment remains enforceable (usually until the judgment is paid in full).  See CCP § 697.320(b); Fam.C. § 291(a).

When a judgment is renewed, the duration of any related Abstract of Judgment can be extended if the creditor takes certain steps. Specifically, if a certified copy of the renewal application is recorded in the county where the property is located before expiration of the judgment lien, the lien is generally extended for 10 years from the date of filing of the renewal application with the court. See CCP § 683.180.

The requirements may be different when the debtor’s real property has been transferred. Specifically, when property subject to a judgment lien has been transferred, and the transfer occurred before the judgment was renewed, then the creditor must, in addition to recording a certified copy of the renewal application, take the following additional steps: (1) personally serve a copy of the renewal application on the transferee, and (2) file a proof of service with the court within 90 days of filing of the renewal application. See CCP § 683.180(b).

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