An abstract of judgment filed in the county land records gives the creditor a lien on any real estate the debtor owes in that county. The lien gives the creditor legal interest in the property and typically prevents owner from selling the property or getting a mortgage. The debtor must get a discharge or release of the abstract of judgment to remove the lien from the home.
Contact the judgment creditor shown on the abstract. Arrange to pay the debt in full or negotiate payments. Ask the creditor for a discharge if paying in full. Get any payment plans in writing from the creditor before agreeing or paying the creditor.
Ask for a release if not paying in full. A release removes only the real estate stated on the document from the judgment lien. Give the creditor the exact address of the release property.
File the discharge or release in the recorder or clerk's office of the property's county. Ask for a certified copy.
File for bankruptcy. Both Chapter 7, which results in debt elimination, and Chapter 13, which focuses on creditor repayment, include judgment debts in the discharge. The creditor typically will remove the lien at the request of the debtor after discharge, or the debtor can ask the bankruptcy court to issue an order vacating the lien.
Contact the state bar association for an attorney list if you need help or have questions about bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy impacts all the filer's assets, including money in the bank and property.