yOne way to increase the chances that your judgment will be paid, is when your judgment is placed on the debtor’s credit report(s).

One of many judgment articles: I am not a lawyer, and this article is my opinion based on my experience, please consult with a lawyer if you need legal advice.

In the past, the best way to increase the odds that a judgment would be included, was to send copies of the judgment to the major credit bureaus. Now, the credit bureaus no longer take action on judgments sent to them by individuals. Now, they only get and accept judgment information coming from data research companies.

Usually, judgments are not automatically put on credit reports, unless the creditor takes a certain action; and even then, it is not guaranteed that a judgment will appear on their debtor’s credit report(s). The way a creditor can increase the odds that their judgment will appear on credit reports, is to record a judgment lien or an abstract of judgment, at a county recorder’s office.

Also, record new liens in any county where the recording may impact your debtor. Examples would be where they live, where their parents live, to catch probate payments; where they own business interests or property, etc.

Most data research companies looking for judgments, search for liens at the recorder’s office. (A few look for judgments at courts.) This means that if there is no lien recorded, the credit bureaus will usually not see the judgment. It also means the older a judgment is, the less likely it will show up on a credit report.

Usually, judgments only remain on credit reports for 7 years. The only thing a creditor can do to increase the odds that their judgment will remain on the debtor’s credit report past 7 years, is to renew their judgment and record an updated property lien which references the previous lien number; so it will not lose its priority.

So, every 7 years, get an updated lien (first renew your judgment every 7 years, or long before it expires) that lists the accrued interest, and any court-approved costs; and record it at the county recorder’s office.

What if your judgment debtor changed their name or now uses an AKA, or their last name because of marriage? That means you will have to take some action with the court to reflect that new name, then record a new updated new lien with that AKA.

If your debtor moved to a location in the same state, you should record a lien in the county where they moved. If your debtor changed names or is now using an AKA, you should take a court action so that AKA will be reflected on the judgment, and then record an amended judgment lien.

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