Enforcement of Judgment Against Residence

Question: If I am unable to pay a judgment against me, can the plaintiff come after my primary residence if I own it?

Answer: In theory, yes. However, the judgment creditor would have to obtain an order for the sale of the house, and the proceeds would have to be used to pay off any mortgage on the house and pay you your homestead exemption ($15,000 per person). As a practical matter, since forced sales of houses don’t bring a lot of money, judgment creditors will typically record their judgment, but not try to force a sale of the property. That way, if you ever sell the house, they may be able to recover something.

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