When a money judgment is obtained in a Georgia court, the judgment creditor may place a lien on the property of the judgment debtor. However, the judgment itself does not create the lien. To affect a lien, the plaintiff must request the clerk of the court to issue a writ of fieri facias, to include a description of the specific property. Note that the defendant has first right to choose which of his property be placed under lien, if he so exercises that right. Additionally, the debtor may satisfy the judgment with a full money payment prior to the seizure of his property. Should the debtor fail to pay, the sheriff will seize the debtor’s property for eventual sale. If you are the judgment creditor, it is your legal obligation, upon full payment from the judgment debtor in advance of seizure, or payment from the sheriff after seizure and sale, to cancel the writ and remove the judgment lien.
Visit the clerk in the court that issued to the writ of fieri facias not later than 30 days following the satisfaction of the judgment.
Direct the clerk of the court to cancel the writ of fieri facias associated with your judgment. If you filed such a writ in more than one county, you must cancel each individually. The cancellation procedure may vary from county to county. The clerk will provide you with the required forms, or instruct you otherwise.
Obtain an Affidavit for Satisfaction of Execution from the clerk. Sign the affidavit in the presence of the clerk. The clerk will make the appropriate entry in the execution docket showing that the judgment has been satisfied and any liens associated with it have been extinguished.
If you fail to complete these steps within the allotted time, you may be held liable for money damages to the judgment debtor.
William Carpenter began writing professionally in 2004, working with nongovernmental organizations and business clients while living in China. He maintains clients in China while writing for a variety of U.S. publications. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from Portland State University.