Does Prior Judgment Attach to Newly Purchased Homestead?

Florida homestead protection from judgments takes effect when you actually move into the house you own. Moving in to a homestead will not remove the lien of a judgment that was recorded if you owned the house prior to making it your primary residence.

I was asked this week whether a debtor whether an existing recorded judgment would attach to a home he planning to purchase and occupy at the same time. He wanted to know if the pre-existing judgment would attach the instant he acquired title even though he would be moving his furniture into the home on the day of closing and the following several days.

It does not seem fair that a debtor subject to a recorded judgment could not buy a protected homestead. In fact, there are several cases which have held that when a judgment lien attaches to a property acquired by purchase, or inheritance, simultaneously with the debtor’s occupancy of a homestead that the homestead protection is entitled to priority and the judgment lien does not attach or may be stripped in bankruptcy..

Page last updated on May 22, 2020

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