How Do I Remove a Judgment Lien in California After It Is Satisfied?

06/18/2009 - Judgment Liens - State: CA #17060

Full Question:

I placed a lien on the single family house of my ex-husband for a $30,000 marital dissolution settlement. If he were to pay me off with funds outside of a real estate transaction (not a refinance or sale) how is that lien removed or updated that it's paid. My ex wants me to submit a notarized statement that I have been paid, but that doesn't seem 'legal' enough to satisfy the lien. I would prefer not to have to go back to my lawyer who charged me almost $2000 to put the lien on.

Answer:

When a judgment lien is fully paid (satisfied), the person who was owed the money (judgment creditor) files an acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment with the court that issued the judgment. The judgment creditor also serves the person who owed the money (judgment debtor) with a copy of the acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment by delivering it personally or by mail. A certificate of service (sometimes referred to as a certificate of mailing) is attached to the acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment when filed to prove a copy was served on the judgment debtor. If an abstract of judgment was filed with the county recorder, the judgment debtor may record the aknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment with the county recorder of each county where the abstract of judgment has been recorded in order to release the lien on the property.

Please see the following CA laws:

§ 724.010 Civ. Proc.

(a) A money judgment may be satisfied by payment of the full amount required to satisfy the judgment or by acceptance by the judgment creditor of a lesser sum in full satisfaction of the judgment.
(b) Where a money judgment is satisfied by levy, the obligation of the judgment creditor to give or file an acknowledgment of satisfaction arises only when the judgment creditor has received the full amount required to satisfy the judgment from the levying officer.
(c) Where a money judgment is satisfied by payment to the judgment creditor by check or other form of noncash payment that is to be honored upon presentation by the judgment creditor for payment, the obligation of the judgment creditor to give or file an acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment arises only when the check or other form of noncash payment has actually been honored upon presentation for payment.

§ 724.020 Civ. Proc.

The court clerk shall enter satisfaction of a money judgment in the register of actions when the following occur:

(a) A writ is returned satisfied for the full amount of a lump-sum judgment.
(b) An acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment is filed with the court.
(c) The court orders entry of satisfaction of judgment.

§ 724.040 Civ. Proc.

If an abstract of a money judgment has been recorded with the recorder of any county and the judgment is satisfied, the judgment creditor shall immediately do both of the following:

(a) File an acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment with the court.
(b) Serve an acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment on the judgment debtor. Service shall be made personally or by mail.

§ 724.050 Civ. Proc.

(a) If a money judgment has been satisfied, the judgment debtor, the owner of real or personal property subject to a judgment lien created under the judgment, or a person having a security interest in or a lien on personal property subject to a judgment lien created under the judgment may serve personally or by mail on the judgment creditor a demand in writing that the judgment creditor do one or both of the following:
(1) File an acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment with the court.
(2) Execute, acknowledge, and deliver an acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment to the person who made the demand.
(b) The demand shall include the following statement: "Important warning. If this judgment has been satisfied, the law requires that you comply with this demand not later than 15 days after you receive it. If a court proceeding is necessary to compel you to comply with this demand, you will be required to pay my reasonable attorney's fees in the proceeding if the court determines that the judgment has been satisfied and that you failed to comply with the demand. In addition, if the court determines that you failed without just cause to comply with this demand within the 15 days allowed, you will be liable for all damages I sustain by reason of such failure and will also forfeit one hundred dollars to me."
(c) If the judgment has been satisfied, the judgment creditor shall comply with the demand not later than 15 days after actual receipt of the demand.
(d) If the judgment creditor does not comply with the demand within the time allowed, the person making the demand may apply to the court on noticed motion for an order requiring the judgment creditor to comply with the demand. The notice of motion shall be served on the judgment creditor. Service shall be made personally or by mail. If the court determines that the judgment has been satisfied and that the judgment creditor has not complied with the demand, the court shall either
(1) order the judgment creditor to comply with the demand or
(2) order the court clerk to enter satisfaction of the judgment.
(e) If the judgment has been satisfied and the judgment creditor fails without just cause to comply with the demand within the time allowed, the judgment creditor is liable to the person who made the demand for all damages sustained by reason of such failure and shall also forfeit one hundred dollars ($100) to such person. Liability under this subdivision may be determined in the proceedings on the motion pursuant to subdivision (d) or in an action.

§ 724.060 Civ. Proc.

(a) An acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment shall contain the following information:
(1) The title of the court.
(2) The cause and number of the action.
(3) The names and addresses of the judgment creditor, the judgment debtor, and the assignee of record if any. If an abstract of the judgment has been recorded in any county, the judgment debtor's name shall appear on the acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment as it appears on the abstract of judgment.
(4) The date of entry of judgment and of any renewals of the judgment and where entered in the records of the court.
(5) A statement either that the judgment is satisfied in full or that the judgment creditor has accepted payment or performance other than that specified in the judgment in full satisfaction of the judgment.
(6) A statement whether an abstract of the judgment has been recorded in any county and, if so, a statement of each county where the abstract has been recorded and the book and page of the county records where the abstract has been recorded, and a notice that the acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment (or a court clerk's certificate of satisfaction of judgment) will have to be recorded with the county recorder of each county where the abstract of judgment has been recorded in order to release the judgment lien on real property in that county.
(7) A statement whether a notice of judgment lien has been filed in the office of the Secretary of State and, if such a notice has been filed, a statement of the file number of such notice, and a notice that the acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment (or a court clerk's certificate of satisfaction of judgment) will have to be filed in that office in order to terminate the judgment lien on personal property.
(b) The acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment shall be made in the manner of an acknowledgment of a conveyance of real property.
(c) The acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment shall be executed and acknowledged by one of the following:
(1) The judgment creditor.
(2) The assignee of record.
(3) The attorney for the judgment creditor or assignee of record unless a revocation of the attorney's authority is filed.
(4) The local child support agency director or his or her designee, if the local child support agency has been providing child support services pursuant to Section 17400 of the Family Code. The acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment may be recorded by the local child support agency pursuant to Section 27282 of the Government Code. § 724.070 Civ. Proc.
(a) If a judgment creditor intentionally conditions delivery of an acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment upon the performance of any act or the payment of an amount in excess of that to which the judgment creditor is entitled under the judgment, the judgment creditor is liable to the judgment debtor for all damages sustained by reason of such action or two hundred fifty dollars ($250), whichever is the greater amount.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply if the judgment creditor has agreed to deliver an acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment to the judgment debtor prior to full satisfaction of the judgment in consideration for the judgment debtor's agreement either to furnish security or to execute a promissory note, or both, the principal amount of which does not exceed the amount to which the judgment creditor is entitled under the judgment.

§ 724.100 Civ. Proc.

(a) If satisfaction of a judgment has been entered in the register of actions, the court clerk shall issue a certificate of satisfaction of judgment upon application therefor and payment of the fee as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 70626 of the Government Code.
(b) The certificate of satisfaction of judgment shall contain the following information:
(1) The title of the court.
(2) The cause and number of the action.
(3) The names of the judgment creditor and the judgment debtor.
(4) The date of entry of judgment and of any renewals of the judgment and where entered in the records of the court.
(5) The date of entry of satisfaction of judgment and where it was entered in the register of actions.

Rule 4:48-1.

Execution and Delivery of Warrant of Satisfaction Upon satisfaction of a judgment duly entered and docketed, a warrant shall be executed and delivered to the party making satisfaction or to the party's representative, guardian or attorney, or to the clerk of the court, stating the judgment docket number or book and page where it is recorded and directing the clerk to satisfy the same of record. The warrant shall be executed by anyone entitled to receive satisfaction or by the attorney of record in the action. If executed by anyone other than the attorney of record the warrant shall be duly acknowledged. If executed by the attorney of record the attorney's certification shall suffice.


Please see the information at the following links:

http://definitions.uslegal.com/j/judgment-debtor/
http://definitions.uslegal.com/j/judgment-liens/
http://definitions.uslegal.com/s/satisfaction-of-judgment/
http://definitions.uslegal.com/c/certificates-of-service/
http://definitions.uslegal.com/a/abstract/

Please see the forms at the following links:

http://www.uslegalforms.com/ca/CA-EJ-100.htm
http://www.uslegalforms.com/ca/CA-0909-AA.htm

06/18/2009 - Category: Judgment Liens - State: CA #17060

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