Many judgment creditors who contact me claim they have a solid gold judgment worth a ton of cash up-front; as they have a judgment against a business and already recorded their lien against the company, and while that business is out of business/doing poorly, the guy owning the company is wealthy, so “all you have to do to collect is go after that guy to make them pay”.

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The show stopper is, when a company is a corporation, it usually protects all owners from all the company’s debts. If that business had a slightly different name than listed on the judgment, it can be relatively cheap to amend a judgment to update their name, as long as there’s no new parties involved.

When a judgment owner didn’t sue a person, there is only one way to try and include an individual to the judgment is to attempt to prove some kind of fraud bystarting a new lawsuit. There’s three drawbacks to this; it is very expensive, there’s no guarantee the lawsuit will win, and it won’t do any good when there are no available assets. People who buy judgments pay almost no cash up-front for judgment situations such as.

My articles are my opinions and are not, a legal opinion. I’m the judgment recovery expert, and not an attorney. When you need a strategy to use or legal advice, you should contact a lawyer.

Some other judgment owners explain to me that they own a judgment against a DBA (Doing Business As) company and filed their lien against that DBA business, “So their lien also attaches to the business owner’s condo”. The show-stopper is, a lien only reaches the exact name(s) named on their judgment that supports the lien.

Fictitious Business Names (FBNs) also known as DBAs, are alternative names for person(s) and is not a separate legal entity. A judgment just against just FBN name itself, needs to be amended for a chance for it to be enforced, and a lien recorded against just a DBA usually does nothing.

While a DBA/FBN isn’t really separate from the owner, it can be viewed as a distinct entity. This means in many states, a bank account in the name of the FBN may be levied if a creditor provides a declaration and proof of who is the owner of DBA. In California, CCP 700.160 states that, a person(s) bank account kept in the name of a FBN may be levied by supplying an unexpired certified copy of the FBN certificate.

If a judgment is only against a sole proprietorship’s DBA business name and a lien is recorded in that named DBA, the lien won’t attach to a real estate property owned by the owner of the business. To enforce a judgment against any kind of property, both any liens and the judgment, must have the identical names as the listed property owner.

The title companies aren’t obligated to search for name variations or business FBN names of the owners of real estate property. It’s the duty of a creditor to check that a lien attaches. Liens having the name of Dan Debtor will most likely never reach real estate property that is owned in the name of Dave D. Debtorman, II. One solution is to get your judgment amended to add the correct name of the business owner. In California, this is usually accomplished using an affidavit of identity.

You could then record a spanking new lien updated with the information on that amended judgment, however that would cause that new lien to lose any lien priority which it formerly had. A better idea is to file an amended lien (in California, see CCP 674), because this preserves the lien’s original recording date priority. Your amended lien/abstract will retain it’s original filing date for the priority of the lien when it is correctly filled out by (e.g.) checking the correct box, and referencing the previous lien recording number.

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Mark Shapiro of http://www.JudgmentBuy.com – The easiest and fastest free way to find the right expert to buy or recover your judgment.

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