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How Do I Get Rid of a Judgment Lien on My Property?

George Simons | December 02, 2022

George Simons
Co-Founder of SoloSuit
George Simons, JD/MBA

George Simons is the co-founder and CEO of SoloSuit. He has helped Americans protect over $1 billion from predatory debt lawsuits. George graduated from BYU Law school in 2020 with a JD-MBA. In his spare time, George likes to cook, because he likes to eat.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Do you have a judgment lien on your property for an old, unpaid debt? Find out how to get rid of a judgment lien on your property with this complete guide.

If you are being sued for a debt, you have to at least file an answer in time. If you didn't, you will get a default judgment against you, and that means that the judge will decide in favor of the debt collector suing you. If you don't make any payments after the default judgment, the debt collector may ask the judge to put a lien on your property.

These are two main reasons a judgment lien is bad for you:

  1. It impacts your credit score and report.
  2. It does not allow you to sell, refinance, or transfer your property.

You don't want that. So now that you understand that, let's see a few things you can do to get rid of that lien hovering over your property. Let's begin with what sounds more likely to be done.

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File a motion to set aside a judgment and an answer along with it

A motion to set aside judgment is a paper you file in court to explain to the judge and to the debt collectors that you didn't file an answer for a reason. The reason you give should be something like a mistake, a surprise, excusable neglect, and/or inadvertence. Whatever the reason you have for not timely filing the answer in court, the judge will see if your reason matches with one of these justifications.

If the judge accepts your motion, you will have an opportunity to speak up in the case you previously received a default judgment and you will cross out the risk of having a lien on your property.

Now, if you have filed an answer in time and lost the case because the debt collectors proved you owe the debt, there are still other ways to get rid of the lien on your property.

The collectors did something wrong to get a judgment lien

If you believe that happened in your case, you may need to file a legal paper, like a motion, to show the judge that the collectors got the lien on my property by unlawful means. These unlawful means are things like: fraud, lying, forcing you to do something, or any other means that don't look right or seem suspicious.

In this motion, you would have to show the judge what happened and the reason you think they have got the lien on your property by illegal means. If you can show that they did something wrong, it should be enough to get the judgment lien out of your property.

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Paying off the debt is another way

I know. It sounds obvious and I understand paying off the debt is not that easy way. When you have a judgment against you, it already gives the lawyers the right to find ways to do what they call “satisfy the debt”.

If you have money available and paying off the debt will not affect your immediate needs, you can consider this option. This involves planning and preparation, many times fines, fees, and lots of interest were added to the debt, and that makes it very hard to pay off.

Negotiating with the collectors may be a good option

Let's say you owe the debt, nothing is wrong with their charges, and you cannot pay them off. You always have the option to negotiate. Many people tried to reach out to their creditors and it didn't work because the debt was sold to a debt collection agency, and another, and so on, and that makes it impossible to negotiate.

How do I negotiate with them then? When you file papers in court (an answer or a motion) you will have to send the same papers to the debt collector's lawyers, they will know you are doing something to fix the issue.

After that, in court, you will have an opportunity to tell the lawyers and the judge that you are willing to fix it, and the judge may suggest another way for you and the collectors to settle and get rid of the judgment lien on your property.

By negotiating you will not need to pay off the debt right away, you may be able to pay in installments and cross out that judgment lien right after the agreement or after you pay a part of it. When you do an agreement, make sure that the right people have signed the papers and that the papers are filed in court in the same court case in which the judgment lien began.

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If nothing works, filing for bankruptcy may help

This option usually is not recommended as your first try to get rid of the judgment lien. Filing for bankruptcy affects all aspects of your financial situation and impacts your credit score and report. You should find a way to resolve a judgment lien, but you should be cautious about how you will resolve things.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

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"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James

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