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It is very important that you obtain legal advice from an experienced attorney regarding your particular situation. Consultation before you take action will certainly cost you less than it will cost to fix your unintentional errors.

JUDGMENTS

IMPORTANT: THIS FIRM MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS AS TO THE ACCURACY OR CURRENT STATUS OF ANY LAW, CASE, ARTICLE OR PUBLICATION CITED HEREIN OR LINKED TO.  WARNING – SOME OF THESE REFERENCES ARE PRE-BAPCPA.

Note – the following is specific to Arizona.  A recorded judgment only becomes a lien when it attaches to something.  Everyone, including many lawyers, misuse the term judgment lien. It is also important to check that all of the formalities (e.g. attaching a Judgment Creditor’s Statement) for recording a judgment have been met so IF the judgment debtor obtains real property in the future or has real property subject to attachment of the judgment at the time of recording, the recorded judgment will attach and become a lien. Note that judgments do not attached to homestead property (ARS Section 33-964).  See also “Do i have to pay a judgment before selling my home?”  If the judgment debtor has more equity than the homestead allowance, the only way the creditor with a recorded judgment creates a lien on a Debtor’s property is by execution – Sheriffs’ Writ or Garnishment.

The IRS (and perhaps ADOR) are the only entities that record a LIEN (not a judgment) that applies to all property real and otherwise. This is a lien authorized by federal code and not under operation of Arizona law. ADOR takes the position that the assessment of a tax debt constitutes a lien on all Debtor’s position.

I started my career as a creditors’ attorney and the only real means of collecting in Arizona was through garnishment of bank accounts or wages. The creditor can request the sheriff to execute on non-exempt personal property, but that can be extremely challenging.