Abstract of Judgment

Definition - What does Abstract of Judgment mean?

An abstract of judgment is the written summary of judgment awarded after a plaintiff wins their civil lawsuit against a defendant. The abstract of judgment outlines the amount of money which must be paid to the plaintiff, the payment of the court costs, the interest to be paid, and other specific orders. The abstract of judgment is then acknowledged and stamped.

Justipedia explains Abstract of Judgment

If the defendant refuses to pay the required monies, the abstract of judgment allows the plaintiff to place a lien on the judgment debtor’s real property, potentially forcing the sale of the specified real estate for payment of the debt.

Obtaining the abstract judgment, however, is simply the first step to debt collection. To actually place a lien on the judgment debtor’s real property, the plaintiff must file the abstract of judgment in the county record’s office where the debtor’s property is physically located, thus creating a public record of the judgment.

After the abstract of judgment is filed in the county where the real property is owned, the filing creates a lien on the property. The lien remains on the property until the property is sold, at which time the judgment must be paid to legally transfer the title of the property to the new property owner.

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