Differences Between Voluntary and Judgment Liens

Towson real estate lawyers help individuals with property and judgment liens.

Many individuals who have filed and won a civil lawsuit are entitled to a money judgment against the losing party. While this judgment often attaches to the property of the losing party, judgment and voluntary liens are not the same.  Understanding the difference between these two types of liens is important for all property owners.

Many individuals who have filed and won a civil lawsuit are entitled to a money judgment against the losing party. While this judgment often attaches to the property of the losing party, judgment and voluntary liens are not the same.  Understanding the difference between these two types of liens is important for all property owners.

Obtaining the Lien

The biggest difference between property and judgment liens is how the lien holder obtained the lien. Creditors who hold judgment liens generally obtain them as a result of the property owner losing a lawsuit. Once a judgment has been obtained or recorded in circuit court, the judgment lien acts like a mortgage, except for one major difference. If the amount of the judgment is not paid in full, the lienholder can foreclose. Since a judgment must be entered before a creditor can secure a judgment lien, many unsecured debt creditors, including medical billing or credit card companies, use judgment liens as a last resort. While judgments can become liens on property other than real estate, debt collector’s rarely use them against any property other than real estate.

Common valuntary liens involve mortgages when a homeowner takes out a loan and gives the creditor a property lien transferring rights to the property should the mortgage go into default.

Recording the Lien

Both types of liens require the creditor to record the lien in the county where the property exists. In some states, having a judgment entered against an individual will automatically result in a property lien, which does not require a recording of the judgment. When a judgment lien is properly recorded, it will allow the lien to attach to any property acquired by the debtor later. Liens involving real property typically need to be recorded with the county,..

Consequences of Liens

Many homeowners fail to realize that having a lien against their property can affect their ability to sell or refinance their property. The lien must be removed or released to get a clear title before the property can be transferred to new owners.  Removal of the lien occurs when the debtor pays off their debt, seeks court removal of the lien, or in some cases, files for bankruptcy

Consulting Legal Counsel

Enforcing or defending against property and judgment liens can be difficult without the assistance of an experienced Towson real estate lawyer. Individuals who are attempting to collect on a lien can waste years in litigation without the proper legal guidance. Property owners who are under a lien can have difficulty selling their property or using their property as collateral. With the assistance of an experienced Towson real estate lawyer, property owners can effectively deal with the consequences of property and judgment liens, including having the lien removed or released.

Towson Real Estate Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Individuals with Property and Judgment Liens  

At Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC, our experienced Towson real estate lawyers handle a wide range of real estate matters, including those related to judgment and property liens. Located in Towson and Hunt Valley, Maryland, we represent clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online.  

av 2019 rating
avvo client choice award
avvo top contributor award
Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC is a BBB Accredited Lawyer in Hunt Valley, MD
maryland chamber