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  • Feb 16, 2010, 09:29 AM
    Small Claims Impact on Foreclosure
    When buying a piece of real estate at a courthouse sale, I realize that certain liens attached to the real estate have to be paid off, such as water bills, IRS, taxes, etc.

    However, I noticed on a search that the individual who is being foreclosed on has a judgement from small claims court against him. It doesn't look like it's a lien as it is registered as a judgement and it doesn't reference the property.

    Any ideas? This is in the state of Florida.

  • Feb 16, 2010, 09:34 AM

    It shouldn't appear on the title search (which I think you are talking about - ?) unless it's a lien.

    Call the Court and ask.
  • Feb 16, 2010, 09:48 AM

    Good point about calling the court.

  • Feb 16, 2010, 10:01 AM

    I think I found the answer. Basically, a small claims judgment is a lien against the person's properties. If the property forecloses, and sold by the court, and there is not enough funds from the sale proceeds to cover the lien then the holder of the judgment still has a right to recover but not from the person who bought the property at foreclosure.

    From the county website:

    The recorded judgment will act as a lien against the Defendant's real property for 10 years. See Section 55.10(1), Florida Statutes. The lien may be extended for another 10 years, by re-recording a certified copy of the judgment and simultaneously recording an affidavit with the current address of the person who has a lien as a result of the judgment. See Section 55.10(2), Florida Statutes. Statutes may be viewed online at Statutes & Constitution :

    The Plaintiff may also file a Judgment Lien Certificate with the Department of State to obtain a lien on the Defendant's personal property located anywhere in Florida. These liens lapse after 5 years, but can be extended another 5 years by filing another judgment lien certificate. See Sections 55.204 (1) & (3) Florida Statutes. Visit - Home for more information and forms.
  • Feb 17, 2010, 11:06 AM
    AK lawyer

    Originally Posted by LivingtheLifeinFLA View Post
    ... the holder of the judgment still has a right to recover but not from the person who bought the property at foreclosure. ...

    That is what I would expect. The lien is junior to the tax lien and is extinguished upon tax foreclosure. Otherwise tax-foreclosed properties would be worthless.

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