- February 18, 2008
- All Florida Issuing Offices
- Judgments rerecorded after the initial lien period has expired
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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