Bulletin: FL2008003

Date:
February 18, 2008
To:
All Florida Issuing Offices
RE:
Judgments rerecorded after the initial lien period has expired

Dear Associates:

Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 55.10, unless rerecorded prior to expiration, certified judgments recorded on or before June 30, 1994 expire seven (7) years after recording and certified judgments recorded after June 30, 1994 expire ten (10) years after recording. In no event can a judgment be a lien against real property if it was entered more than twenty years ago.

Confusion exists as to the effect of rerecording a judgment after the original lien period has expired but before the judgment is twenty years old. This confusion is caused by a difference of opinion by Florida courts at the District Court level.

One line of cases holds that a judgment must be rerecorded before the original lien period expires. A judgment rerecorded after that time is ineffective to either continue or create a new lien against real property.

The other line of cases holds that a judgment may be rerecorded even after the original judgment lien has expired. The rerecorded judgment creates a new lien which has its priority starting from the date it was rerecorded.

Until this split of opinion is either resolved through legislation or through a decision by the Florida Supreme Court, it is Stewart’s underwriting position to treat a judgment which is rerecorded after the initial lien period has expired as a new judgment lien with its priority as of the date of rerecording and attaching only to property owned by the debtor on or after the date of rerecording.

Please feel free to contact the underwriting department of Stewart Title in Florida should you have questions regarding these matters.

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THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
FL000041 Judgments - New Requirements
 
FL000044 Duration of Judgment Lien
 
FL000091 Change in Judgment Lien Statute
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None