Important Things to Know About Judgment Liens in Arizona

Important Things to Know About Judgment Liens in Arizona

Collecting judgments in Arizona is similar in many ways to collecting them in other states. But by the same token, there are some differences based on Arizona law. For instance, judgment liens in Arizona are fairly narrow in scope. Only certain types of assets are subject to judgment liens and, on top of that, Arizona law allows for value exemptions.

It is things like this that frustrate so many Arizona judgment creditors trying unsuccessfully to get paid. These same things are why creditors in the Grand Canyon State turn to Judgment Collectors for help. We work with Arizona clients to encourage judgment debtors to pay up.

Judgment Lien Basics

A judgment lien is a legal tool whereby creditors can increase the chances of getting paid by their debtors. A lien is essentially an attachment to a piece of property owned by the debtor. The lien prevents the debtor from selling the property and keeping all the proceeds for him or herself. Sale proceeds go to the lien holder first. Whatever is left over after the debt is paid in full goes to the debtor.

If you currently have a mortgage, you have a lien against your house. Though that lien is not a judgment lien, it accomplishes the same goal. Selling your house before paying off your mortgage would require that the proceeds go to your bank to pay what you owe. You get the balance. Judgment liens work much the same way.

Eligible Property in Arizona

Some states allow judgment creditors to file liens on both real estate and personal property. That would mean a debtor’s home, vacation property, jewelry, and other assets would be subject to liens. In Arizona, the law takes a much narrower view of judgment liens.

Only real estate is subject to a lien filing in Arizona. If the property in question is the debtor’s primary residents, it is subject to something known as a homestead exemption. Under this exemption, a certain amount of the property’s value is protected from collection efforts.

Other Things That Effect Judgment Liens

A few other things can affect judgment liens in Arizona. All of them are things that a judgment collection agency would look into prior to filing liens. They include:

  • Other Liens – Other liens previously placed on the property would take precedent over the judgment lien. That means a judgment lien could effectively be in second or third position. Not being in the first position reduces the likelihood of being paid in full.
  • Foreclosure – If a property is already in foreclosure when the creditor decides to file a lien, the lien will likely do no good. The bank is in the first position. That being the case, chances are that of the sale proceeds will go to the bank. If you take action quickly after you obtain a judgment, there is a possibility that you can move before other debtors.
  • Bankruptcy – Unfortunately, a bankruptcy can affect judgment liens in Arizona. A bankruptcy judge could dismiss the debtor’s outstanding debt, making any judgment lien moot.

We have given you the basic outline of how judgment liens work in Arizona. Although liens can be a bit difficult to work with in the state, they are a tool we can utilize. There are other tools we can use as well.

If you have been attempting to collect an outstanding judgment in Arizona to no avail, we hope you will consider our services. Judgment Collectors is a leading judgment collection agency with a proven track record. We work on consignment, meaning you don’t pay a dime if we do not successfully collect. We also absorb all the costs of what we do. What do you have to lose?