September 8th, 2014 12:37 PM by Ron Mastrodonato
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Sept. 5, 2014 – Question: A few years ago, I sued and got a judgment against my ex-business partner. I filed the judgment in the public records, placing a lien on his rental property. He's about to lose the house in foreclosure. Will I get paid from the lender? – Dario
Answer: The lender does not owe you the money. Your ex-partner does. When you get a money judgment against someone, the law allows you several ways to collect, including garnishing wages and bank accounts and putting a lien on investment real estate.
Liens have priority in the order in which they are recorded, so if the lender recorded its mortgage before your judgment, it can foreclose your lien along with his ownership (as long as it followed certain procedures in the foreclosure process, such as including your lien in the lawsuit).
Even if you get nothing from this, your judgment still is valid against any other property he owns. Plus, if the home is sold at auction for more than what the mortgage lender is owed, you can make a claim on the surplus.
If your judgment was recorded before the mortgage, or the lender did not include your lien in the foreclosure lawsuit, you will want to speak with your lawyer. You may still have a valid lien on the property.
About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He is the chairperson of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is an adjunct professor for the Nova Southeastern University Paralegal Studies program.
The information and materials in this column are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in this column is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
Copyright © 2014 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary M. Singer. Distributed by MCT Information Services.http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?id=312959