Bulletin: FL000091

Date:
July 17, 2001
To:
All Issuing Offices in Florida
RE:
Change in Judgment Lien Statute

Dear Associates:

Florida Statute Section 55.10, which governs judgment liens in the state of Florida, has been significantly amended. The new amended law took effect on July 1, 2001. Specifically, the statute has been amended to increase the initial period that a recorded certified judgment is a lien on real property from 7 years to 10 years. In addition, any re-recording of a certified judgment prior to the expiration of the first 10 year period will now be good for an additional 10 year period. This amendment only affects judgments recorded on or after July 1, 1987, which were still liens on or after July 1, 1994, and any new certified judgments recorded on or after July 1, 1994.

In determining whether a judgment is still a lien against real property you will now have to make the following analysis:

1. Certified judgments recorded before July 1, 1987, constitute a lien against real property for a period of 20 years from the date the judgment was issued;

2. Certified Judgments recorded on or after July 1, 1987, and before July 1, 1994, constitute a lien against real property for an initial period of 7 years from the date of recording. If the certified judgment was re-recorded prior to the expiration of the original 7 year period, the re-recorded judgment constitutes a lien for a period of 10 years from the date of re-recording; and

3. Certified judgments recorded on or after July 1, 1994, constitute a lien against real property for a period of 10 years from the date of recording. If the certified judgment was re-recorded, the re-recorded judgment constitutes a lien for a period of 10 years from the date of the re-recording.

Exceptions to the above rules:

1. Certified judgments recorded or re-recorded on or after October 1, 1993, in order to constitute a lien against real property, must include the address of the creditor either on the judgment or on a simultaneously recorded address affidavit; and,

2. No matter when a certified judgment is recorded, it can not constitute a lien against real property if more than twenty years has passed since the judgment was issued.

The most important affect in the change in the law is the fact that judgments recorded after July 1, 1994, that under the prior law were only good for 7 years, are now good for 10 years.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None