Ways to Get the Lien Released or Extinguished

Liens are often used to ensure the payment of a debt, with the property acting as collateral against the amount owed.  There are several ways you can have a lien removed from your property. Here are some ways that can help you:

1. Pay off the debt. If you pay off the underlying debt, the creditor will agree to release the lien. The creditor then files this release with the same state authority with which it recorded the original judgment lien. Once the creditor releases the lien, you may sell, trade or otherwise transfer the property as you please.

2. Ask the court to remove the judgment lien. Most states provide a process by which you can ask the court to remove the judgment lien. However, whether the court will approve your request depends on the nature of the property burdened by the lien.

3. Claim the property burdened by the lien as exempt. Each state’s laws determine what property you may claim as exempt. If you believe the property affected by the judgment lien is exempt or otherwise protected from creditors, include that language in your request to the court.

4. File for bankruptcy. Unless you have other debts that necessitate filing bankruptcy, you should only use this option as a last resort. By filing bankruptcy, you can use the power of federal law to remove the judgment lien in the bankruptcy court.  Consult an attorney for advice.

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