Posted by Sally CA on March 20, 2006 at 15:12:49:
Dave, could you maybe expand on your statement that “the judgment follows the buyer and attaches to any real estate he wants to buy, in front of his lender”?
The reason I ask is that I am currently suing someone, but the case hasn’t been heard yet. I (like everybody, right?) fully expect to prevail, but I’m concerned about my ability to collect later.
They have real estate in this county, and once the judgment has been rendered, I can attach this. The problem is, the real estate is on the market, and may be sold before I can get my judgment. I think they’ve overpriced it, and the market has slowed, but you never know.
I believe they’re selling in order to buy other property elsewhere. They’re trying to delay the case coming to trial, and I believe the reason is so that they can get the house sold before the judgment, so I’ll have nothing in this county to attach (they currently live in another county). If the judgment will follow them to another county or another state, that won’t be so much of a concern to me. I don’t really care so much about collecting immediately (it will only be for a few thousand), but I do care about being unable to collect at all.
I’ve looked at various options, but nothing seems adequate. Lis Pendens is only appropriate if the title is an issue. There are state laws that permit “pre-emptive” judgments (I’m in California), but they don’t apply in this case.