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Selling a House with a Judgement: A Step-by-Step Guide

By The HomeGo Team On 2019-11-12

Selling a house is already a massive undertaking. Marketing, staging, paperwork, fees — the list goes on and on.

Selling a house with a judgment isn’t any easier. In fact, it can be more difficult. With the right tools and resources, selling a home with a judgment is still absolutely possible.

In this article, we’ll explore how to sell real estate with debtor liens legally while keeping the lienholder happy. As always, if you have specific questions about judgments, it is best to consult an accountant.

What Types of Judgments Might I Have on My Home?

As explained by Investopedia, when you sign up for a mortgage lien or second mortgage, that’s a consensual lien. You agreed to take it on in exchange for getting the house.

But a judgment is different. As defined by Nolo, judgment liens are placed on your property title by the court of law to satisfy an unsecured debt.

As a last resort, creditors filed a claim with the courts to make sure they get paid by the judgment debtor.

Some liens fall under state law. Others are managed federally.

These involuntary types of liens by court order might include those for:

  • Property tax liens
  • Child support
  • Bankruptcy proceedings
  • Damages you paid for a personal injury or personal property lawsuit
  • Other court judgments

How Do I get a Judgment Lien Removed from My House?

To get rid of this lien, you must generally pay the old debt. Then you can sell your home without a claim appearing during a title search.

Can I Sell My House with a Judgment Against Me?

The short answer is, yes, selling a house with a judgment can be done.  But most homebuyers expect the title report to come back clean. So you’ll need to be upfront about the property lien and have a plan for how you’ll address it. You have options for satisfying the judgment creditors.

Can I Sell My House “As-Is”?

Specific buyers may be willing to buy the real property as-is. If they do, they assume the responsibility for your judgment liens. In return, you reduce your price to account for the cost they’re taking on.

As you can imagine, these types of buyers don’t come around every day. And because these buyers are often helping sellers who are in less than ideal situations, it’s essential to check the buyer out and work with someone you trust.

selling a house with a judgement as is condition

Can a Judgment Be Paid at Closing?

Yes, you can arrange to pay the amount of the judgment at closing.

If your home must stand good for this bad debt when you close, all of the proceeds don’t go from escrow to your bank account at the sale of the property. Per the court ruling, it goes straight to the debtor, whether it’s your primary residence or a rental property.

How Long Does a Judgment Lien Last?

Judgment liens do expire. But this varies by state. And in many states, the creditor can request for it to be extended on the debtor’s house. If you have questions specifically about your lien, you should seek legal advice.

Is There an Easier Way of Selling a House with a Judgement?

As we mentioned, there are buyers who are in the business of helping those who need to sell a home with a judgment. HomeGo buys properties as-is, in almost every condition or circumstance:

Instead of sitting on the market for 90 days or more waiting for the right buyer, you could sell now. Our local agents assess the home’s condition and make a same-day offer. You get cash and can put the bad debt or unwanted home behind you.

Are you trying to sell a home with a judgment? HomeGo has helped thousands of buyers in your area. Contact us to schedule your walk-through.

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The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.