If I got a lien 20 years ago against someone’s house which had a mortgage that has since been paid off, how can I collect?

Small claims court gave me the lien when he refused to pay a debt. He lives in the 2-family house, but has made no attempt to pay the debt. The original amount was about $5000 but it now has 20 years interest added, plus (presumably) expenses.

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

On epossible problem is that if the judgment lien that you apparently recorded upon the judgment debtor's house is more than twenty (20) years old, has not been paid off and it has not been renewed, it might have expired.

In most states in this country a judgment is good for ten (10) years but can be renewed at least once for another term, perhaps longer.

I suggest that you file an application to renew the judgment and see if the judgment debtor opposes the application. The application has to be served via the mail upon him. If no attempt is made to oppose it, then it will be renewed and your judgment valid for another allowable term.

I suggest that you consult with an attorney doing collection work about the above suggestion in that with principal and interest the judgment should be close to $15,000 now.


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