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My husband and I own a house in New Mexico. We had bought it

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My husband and I own a house in New Mexico. We had bought it to sell when we retired unfortunately like so many other people we are upside down. My husband was transferred out of state so we rented the house out between the property management cost and not getting the full amount from the renters to cover the mortgage we average about 500.00 a month out of pocket. Can a Lien be put on our retirement home that's paid for?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm going to assist you with your question.

Please bear with me if you believe my answer isn’t coming fast enough because I’m also working with other customers too. I apologize for any seemingly late response.


Where do you primarily resided/live - in NM too?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We do not live in New Mexico. My husband was transferred to North Dakota. Our retirement home is in Washington
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
So you reside in ND or Washington?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My husband has seven months left until he retires. Our intent is to reside in Washington in 7 months.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
So you reside in ND.

You have some complications.

1) the property that is a problem is in NM

2) you reside in ND

3) you have a residence in WA

So all 3 are involved and all 3's laws affect you.

Do you own anything in ND?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We do not own anything in ND. We are renting
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
OK, then NM and WA are the applicable states in the long run.

First, in NM, if a property is foreclosed upon they may pursue a deficiency judgment.

A deficiency judgment may be obtained when a property in foreclosure is sold at a public sale for less than the loan amount which the underlying mortgage secures. There is a specific provision for deficiency judgments as part of non-judicial foreclosures with the exception that no deficiency judgment is permitted in the case of a sale related to low income property. This means that the borrower still owes the lender for the difference between what the property sold for at auction and the amount of the original loan.


So, if they pursue a deficiency judgment and you live in ND - here is what the law is:

First they would transfer the judgment from NM to ND.

The State of North Dakota generally adopts the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. (28-20.1, et seq.) Any judgment, decree or order of a court of the United States or of any other court is entitled to full faith and credit in the State of North Dakota. (28-20.1-01.)

A judgment creditor seeking to enforce a foreign judgment may file with the appropriate court, an authenticated copy of the foreign judgment, and an affidavit showing the name and last known post office address of the judgment debtor and the judgment creditor. The clerk of the court and the creditor are required to mail a written notice of the filing of the foreign judgment to the judgment debtor at the address given. The notice must include the name and post office address of the judgment creditor and, if the judgment creditor has an attorney in this state, the attorney's name and address. Lack of mailing notice of filing by the clerk does not affect the enforcement proceedings if proof of mailing by the judgment creditor has been filed. No execution may issue upon the foreign judgment nor may any other proceeding be taken for its enforcement until the expiration of 10 days from the date the judgment is filed. (28-20.1-03.)




A judgment rendered by the court of North Dakota is enforceable for a period of ten (10) years (28-01-15.), and may be renewed for an extended period of ten (10) years within 90 days before expiration of the ten (10) year period. (28-20-21.) Upon the docketing and filing of the judgment with the clerk of the court in the county in which the judgment debtor's real property is located, it becomes a lien on such real property except the homestead. (28-20-13.) The lien may also be extended for ten (10) years upon renewal of the judgment. (28-20-23.)

Execution of the judgment may be issued against the property of the judgment debtor, or another for the delivery of the possession of real or personal property. (28-21-03.) All non-exempt goods, chattels, moneys, and other property, both real and personal, of the judgment debtor are subject to execution. (28-21-08.) Earnings of a judgment debtor may be garnished, however, the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment, may not exceed the lesser of 25% of disposable earnings for that week, or the amount by which disposable earnings for that week exceed 40 times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 as amended. (32-09.1-03.)

You do have exemptions in ND - property which a judgment creditor can't touch.


In general, a debtor may claim exemption of his homestead and certain personal property from attachment or execution or forced sale for the payment of debts.

Homestead, under the law of North Dakota, consists of the land, and the dwelling thereon together with all appurtenances and improvements, which a judgment debtor uses as his residence. Any person, married or unmarried, is entitled to a total homestead exemption up to $80,000 in value, over and above all liens and encumbrances or both. (47-18-01.)

Personal property which maybe exempt from attachment or mesne process and from levy and sale upon execution and from any other final process issued from the court may include family pictures, pew or other sitting in any house of worship, lot or lots in any burial ground, family bible and all schoolbooks used as part of a family library not exceeding $100 in value, wearing apparel and clothing, provisions for the debtor and his family necessary for one year's supply, crops and grain not to exceed 160 acres of land, insurance benefits covering any or all of the exempt property, and house trailer or mobile home occupied as a residece by the debtor. In addition, judgment debtor may select from his other personal property, any goods, chattels, merchandise, money and other personal property not exceeding in aggregate value of $5,000 if he is a head of the household (28-22-02, 28-22-03.), and $2,500 if he is a single person. (28-22-05.)

A resident of the State of North Dakota may further select, in lieu of the homestead exemption, up to $7,500, a motor vehicle up to $1,500, pensions, annuity policies or plans and life insurance policies and other retirement plans qualified under applicable Internal Revenue Code provisions, and the right to receive, or property that is traceable to, recovery from wrongful death not to exceed $7,500, recovery from personal injury not to exceed $7,500, social security benefits, and veteran's disability pension benefits. (28-22-03.1.)

Other specific alternative exemptions may include miscellaneous books and musical instruments not to exceed $1,500 in value, household and kitchen furniture not to exceed $1,000 in value, livestock and farm implements not to exceed $4,500 in value, and tools and implements of any mechanic and stock in trade not to exceed $1,000 in value, and library and instruments of any profession not to exceed $1,000 in value. (28-22-04.)


So, although your house would be exempt from them executing against it - they can pursue your pension or garnish your wages other than your social security and/or veteran's disability benefits.



Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer.. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

If you have any questions, about this or anything else, please ask for me, Law Pro, directly in the question and I will try to assist you as best I can.

For example, you would state, "This question is for Law Pro . . . (then on with your question).

Please keep in mind that, even though you have already paid your deposit money over to JustAnswer, until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be paid for having assisted you with your questions.

If you have additional questions, you may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

I wish you the best in your future.
Law Pro, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 24643
Experience: 20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
Law Pro and 10 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But we don't own anything in North Dakota. The question is can the mortgage company put a lien on our Washington property?
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry. I knew that but was thinking ND as to where you lived now.

OK, the same would be applicable to some extent - they would get a judgment in NM and transfer to WA.

However, you have much better exemptions in WA - definitely a homestead exemption:

For the purpose of judgment enforcement or in a bankruptcy proceeding, a debtor is generally entitled to certain statutory exemptions under state laws or federal laws, or both.

Under the laws of Washington, a homestead consists of real or personal property that the owner uses as a residence (RCW 6.13.010). The homestead exemption amount generally may not exceed the lesser of (1) the total net value of the lands, mobile home, improvements, and other personal property, as described in RCW 6.13.010, or (2) the sum of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000.00) in the case of lands, mobile home, and improvements, or the sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000.00) in the case of other personal property described in RCW 6.13.010.


Personal property which may be exempt from execution, attachment, and garnishment may include wearing apparel of every individual and family, but not to exceed $1,000.00 in value in furs, jewelry, and personal ornaments for any individual, private libraries of every individual, but not to exceed $1,500.00 in value, and all family pictures and keepsakes, household goods, appliances, furniture, and home and yard equipment, not to exceed $2,700.00 in value, cash or bank accounts in an amount not to exceed $100.00, two motor vehicles, farmer's equipment and tools not to exceed $5,000.00 in value, professional library, office furniture, office equipment and supplies, not to exceed $5,000.00 in value, and tools of trade in an amount not to exceed $5,000.00 in value.

Some other personal property exemption may include certain retirement plan benefits, insurance proceeds, public assistance and unemployment benefits. (RCW 6.15.010.)

In WA - not only do you have a homestead exemption which means they can't take your house but also your retirement benefits (along with social security) are also exempt too.

Sorry for any confusion there - with the 3 states being involved I wanted to make sure of my answer to you.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer.. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

If you have any questions, about this or anything else, please ask for me, Law Pro, directly in the question and I will try to assist you as best I can.

For example, you would state, "This question is for Law Pro . . . (then on with your question).

Please keep in mind that, even though you have already paid your deposit money over to JustAnswer, until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be paid for having assisted you with your questions.

If you have additional questions, you may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

I wish you the best in your future.

In a bankruptcy proceeding, personal property exemptions may not be claimed by one spouse that is not a joint case or a joint
administration of the estate with the bankruptcy estate of the other spouse where (a) bankruptcy is filed by both spouses within
a six-month period, and (b) one spouse exempts property from property of the estate under the bankruptcy exemption provisions of
11 U.S.C. Sec. 522(d). (RCW 6.15.050(7).)


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When retirement day comes and we have stopped making the monthly payment we should be hearing from our Lender and then they will start the foreclosure?
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Yes, usually within 30 days after you stop making payments you'll hear from the lender.

I wouldn't stop making the payments till you move to WA under the circumstances.

Usually within 60 days they will initiate foreclosure and you'll start getting notices.
Law Pro, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 24643
Experience: 20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
Law Pro and 10 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you

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