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Thanks for coming back with the information. Florida law states:
55.081 Statute of limitations, lien of judgment.--Subject to the provisions of s. 55.10, no judgment, order, or decree of any court shall be a lien upon real or personal property within the state after the expiration of 20 years from the date of the entry of such judgment, order, or decree.
This means that after 20 years, the judgment creditor is no longer able to enforce the judgment. Therefore, I’m sorry to inform you that whoever told you that the judgment was not enforceable after 7 years was incorrect.
I’ll speculate that the person was confusing judgment liens and judgments. A judgment lien is the mechanism to enforce a judgment, and therefore, if a judgment creditor cannot obtain a judgment lien, then the judgment is not enforceable (as is the case after 20 years). A judgment lien expires after 7 years in some cases (in other cases, it’s 10 years). This does not mean the judgment cannot be enforced after 7 years…it merely means the lien has expired and must be reissued.
For example, let’s say you own a house outright with no mortgage. The only lien attached to the house is the judgment lien. While the lien is on the house, you cannot sell it unless you pay the judgment. After 7 years, however, the lien expires. The judgment creditor may either have the lien reissued, or he may let the lien expire. If the lien expires, then you may sell your house without paying the judgment. Let’s say the lien expires and sell your old house a buy a new one. If the judgment creditor realizes his mistake, he may put a new lien on your new house, and that lien lasts for another 7-10 years. However, after 20 years from the date of the judgment, the judgment creditor may no longer place a lien on your house (or your other property), and therefore, the judgment is useless…it can no longer be enforeced.
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