Once a creditor obtains a judgment against a debtor in order for the creditor to obtain payment from the debtor the creditor will attempt to enforce the judgment. Enforcement of the judgment can be in the form of a bank levy or garnishment but it can also be a lien against the debtor’s real estate.
Under Minnesota law, the creditor in a lawsuit for a money judgment can attach a judgment lien against the debtor's real property. Minn. Stat. § 548.09. This lien attaches to the debtor's property when the judgment is docketed. Id.
For a judgment creditor to obtain a lien upon the debtor’s real estate it must abide by Minn. Stat. § 548.09. To obtain a lien on registered property a judgment creditor must satisfy the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 548.09 and Minn. Stat. § 508.63. Section 548.09 states, in relevant part,
[E]very judgment requiring the payment of money shall be docketed by the court administrator upon its entry. . . . From the time of docketing the judgment is a lien, in the amount unpaid, upon all real property in the county then or thereafter owned by the judgment debtor, but it is not a lien upon registered land unless it is also filed pursuant to § 508.63.
Section 508.63 provides in part, any person claiming a lien on registered property to file with the registrar of titles “a certified copy of the judgement, together with a written statement containing a description of each parcel of land in which the judgment debtor has a registered interest and upon which the lien is claimed.”
Debtors are often surprised to learn the judgment creditor has obtained a lien on their real estate and only learn of the judgment when selling the real estate or refinancing the mortgage. Note: In Minnesota there are two way to indexing the real estate: Abstract Title and Torrens (Registered). In the Twin Cities area it is more common for the real estate to be registered, and rural counties tend to use Abstract title.
CALL NOW FOR A FREE STRATEGY SESSION FROM A MN BANKRUPTCY LAWYER AT LIFEBACK LAW FIRM