How Long Does a Judgment or Lien Last?



A judgment initiated by your Creditor can be issued by the court of North Carolina when a debt becomes past due.  This judgment is enforceable for a period of ten (10) years from the filing date.  A judgment may be “renewed” so to speak, by filing a Complaint prior to the expiration of the ten (10) year effect of the original judgment.  That Complaint must be filed and served upon you, the Debtor/Defendant, the same way the original judgment was issued.  Technically, it does not “renew” the old judgment.  Rather, it is a new judgment based upon the existing debt that extends from the original judgment. This so called renewal can only be done once.

A lien may be placed on your home, automobile or personal property.  A judgment lien is a way of collecting on your unpaid balance to a Creditor.  Until you, the owner of the asset, take some action to sell, transfer, or refinance the home, car or personal property; the lien will remain attached to the item.  Once you sell, transfer, or refinance the item, all judgment lien holders may be entitled to collect on their judgments, depending on the nature of the situation.

By paying off a judgment the judgment will be considered satisfied. This means that you will get something from the creditor showing that the judgment was paid and you will no longer have the judgment levied against you. However, most people can’t pay off judgments against them. In this situation bankruptcy may be a good consideration.

By filing bankruptcy you will have the opportunity to wipe out judgments against you. If there is a lien against you then your attorney could file a Motion to Avoid a Judicial Lien as well. Regardless of the legal process, it is important to satisfy the judgment by paying it off or by filing bankruptcy to have it removed.

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