We were recently retained for two cases where our clients had very similar
issues regarding property liens due to judgments improperly entered against
them. In the first case, the client’s deceased husband had a judgment
entered against him by
Asset Acceptance and a subsequent lien was placed on their property. Although the judgment
was entered in 2009, our client only became aware of it when she was seeking
to refinance her mortgage, and this judgment lien was standing in her
way. In the second case, the client’s ex-husband had a judgment
entered against him by Citibank where a lien was placed on their marital
residence after their divorce. Our client had been given the house in
the divorce, but the deed was never officially filed. Therefore, the later
judgment placed a lien on that property. She was also seeking to refinance
We are often retained by clients who are seeking to obtain a mortgage and
whose judgments appear and become a hindrance in obtaining the mortgage.
However, with these two clients, someone else’s debt stood in their way.
In the first case, our client and her husband owned the property as tenants
by the entirety, which relates to property held by a husband and wife.
When he died in 2010, she became the sole owner of the property. Although
the judgment was entered in 2009 (prior to his death), we argued that
this was not her debt nor one related to the property, so the lien should
be removed from the property allowing our client to proceed with the refinance.
Forster and Garbus who were opposing counsel conceded and provided a release of lien for
that judgment without any payment.
In the second case, our client and her ex-husband both owned the property
at issue as their marital residence until their divorce in January 2010.
Their stipulation of settlement of divorce transferred title to the property
to our client only. Because the judgment was later entered and the lien
placed in December 2010, we argued that the property was solely owned
and possessed by our client at that time, and the judgment lien was erroneously
placed upon the property. We contacted
Mulloooly Jeffrey Rooney and Flynn, opposing counsel and were able to negotiate a release of the lien for
$2,000 where the balance of the judgment was $21,537.46. We were able
to obtain this result in a few weeks after being retained.