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Roger
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31564
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I live in Tampa, we have a very thorough and in depth online

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I live in Tampa, we have a very thorough and in depth online Clerks record keeping system.

Is there a way for me to do a broad search to see if a lien has been placed on a property I own. I have been getting conflicting reports.

I had a judgment for a car years ago. I filed BK 3+ years ago, it was supposed to be included, apparently was not... someone told me they had placed a lien on my house, another person said they did not. I will order a title search tomorrow, but is there a way for me to search myself?

Kirk Adams : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.
Kirk Adams : You would be able to search the records online if the clerk's office provides a judgment roll/judgment record.
Customer:

I can see two liens from HOAs of yesteryear and two judgments from mortgage lenders.

Customer:

The lien is listed in the county I live in yes?

Kirk Adams : If it does, then you should be able to try and look up any liens by the name of the debtor.
Customer:

I did a search using my name for the last 10 years. That's what came up.

Kirk Adams : Yes, the lien should be listed in the county records where you live/own property.
Customer:

So if there was a judgement for a car that got repo'd, if they did place a lien on my house, it would show up on Hillsclerk.com?

Customer:

The judgment is there.

Customer:

'For the car'

Kirk Adams : If the clerk keeps judgment lien records online, then it should be there IF a judgment has been filed.
Customer:

How can I tell if they do?

Kirk Adams : The best thing to do would be to contact the court clerk and verify that their judgment rolls are online.
Customer:

When you say judgment rolls. You mean whether they list online if there are any judgments for a certain person?

Customer:

If that's the case, the answer is yes, I'm looking at it right now.

Kirk Adams : Yes, that's what I'm referring to.
Customer:

The attorney of record that processed the judgment even told me they did NOT place a lien on my house. The bank who holds the note, when I went to refi, told me there was a lien... THEN they say there wasn't. No one can answer me straight. Just trying to save the $100 order a title search.

Kirk Adams : You may just want to verify that the records are complete.
Customer:

I can see liens from an HOA I had with an ex wife from 7 years ago... so I'm assuming they would be. But I will check.

Kirk Adams : If the records are up to date, and there is no record of a judgment being enrolled/filed, then you may be safe.
Customer:

What do you mean by enrolled/filed?

Customer:

I can see the judgment clear as day.

Customer:

Issued in Feburary of 2010.

Kirk Adams : Ok. Then that's your answer.
Kirk Adams : If you see the judgment, then it has been enrolled/filed as a lien on any property you have.
Customer:

How is a judgment showing up in official records the answer to whether or not a lien was filed on my residence?

Customer:

A judgment attaches itself to property you own by itself/

Kirk Adams : If a judgment appears, it is a lien to ALL property you own in the county.
Kirk Adams : The judgment lien attaches to everything
Customer:

Hmmm. I've never heard the term judgment lien. I thought when a judgment was granted, that the grantor had to file a lien against a specific piece of property to encumber that property.

Customer:

youre saying it's automatic? So any judgment against me in the county of Hillsborough automatically attached itself to a primary residence I own.

Kirk Adams : No, the only thing required is that the judgment be filed/enrolled. When that happens, it attaches to all property the judgment debtor owns in that county.
Kirk Adams : Yes, it's automatic
Customer:

So if I were to pull a title search tomorrow, which I am going to do. Any and all judgments are going to show up on there as liens against my property.

Customer:

What if the property is jointly owned?

Thats right - the judgments should appear.

Even if the property is jointly owned, the judgment would attach to the judgment debtor's interest.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is this where I would search for Florida?


http://www.sunbiz.org/jlilist.html


 


Last name, first name


 


If I am not listed, I would be okay?

Usually, the records are maintained on the state level by the court clerk - not by a state agency.

This is a link should not be relied upon independent of checking with the county.
Roger and 5 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2012/55.203


 


I'll check with the county tomorrow. But this is the statute for judgment liens in Florida. Says Division of State is required to approve and then host all liens online. Am I reading that right?


 


I'll be honest. You freaked me out. I realize each state is different, but Florida would appear to have one of the easier methods of checking yes?


 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

And if the house is my only and primary residence, even if I did not apply for the Florida Homestead tax break, by default, it's still considered my homestead property - so wouldn't that invalidate any judgment lien regardless?

If you're finding the judgments on the county site and not on the state site, that would be cause for concern as to the accuracy of the state's online database. Also, a person doing a title search is likely to check the county records.

You're right that a Florida homestead property is generally immune from judgment liens. However, if you have not applied for homestead, you may have an issue with this.