At Least Twenty Years to Collect on a Judgment – Is Now the Right Time?
By Kluger Kaplan September 5, 2012
By Michael S. Perse
As the economy rebounds, some of my clients who hold judgments from earlier litigation are exploring the possibility of enforcing judgment liens against the debtors’ property, particularly South Florida real estate, which is beginning to climb in value.
First, it is important to ensure that your judgment is properly recorded and that you obtain a judgment lien in order to secure priority over other potential creditors. Additionally, while a judgment lien in Florida is good for twenty years, that judgment lien must periodically be re-recorded in order to remain valid and in order to maintain your priority over other judgment creditors.
As South Florida property values climb, if you have a judgment against a debtor who owns real estate (other than a primary residential home on which he or she claims a homestead exemption), now is a good time to review the judgment, ensure that any judgment liens are properly recorded, and consider whether the real property value might now be sufficient to satisfy your judgment and any judgment creditors who may have priority. Remember, if the value of the property is not enough to satisfy any judgment creditors who recorded their judgment liens prior to yours, you will not be able to recover anything.