10.08.6 Duration Of The Lien Period

The duration of a judgment lien in the state of Montana resulting from the docketing of a judgment, abstract of judgment, transcript of judgment or warrant for distraint, runs as follows:

  • 10 years for a Warrant for Distraint
  • 10 years after the termination of a child or spousal support obligation
  • 6 years for all other judgments

Ordinarily, when the extension, renewal, or revival occurs before the expiration of the judgment lien, the judgment lien continues in existence and its validity and priority is preserved. However, when the judgment lien expires prior to the extension, renewal, or revival, jurisdictions are divided as to the effect of the extended, renewal, or revival lien upon liens and encumbrances of record.

In addition to the statutory time termination, a judgment lien may also be terminated through any of the following:

  • The payment or satisfaction of the judgment.
  • The partial release of the property from the lien of the judgment by the judgment
  • The proper foreclosure of a prior lien.
  • An execution sale and return for the full amount of the judgment.
  • A final order vacating the judgment.
  • The reversal of the judgment in appeal proceedings.
  • By operation of law.

Note: Under the Bankruptcy Code, a judgment lien on real property at the time of the bankruptcy is not affected by the discharge of the debtor (unless otherwise specifically disposed of by an order of the court.)