Child Support Judgment

I am following a sale scheduled for the coming week. A Child Support Judgment was recorded on the owner in 2002 (no amount indicated on the filed judgment) prior to the 1st TD recorded in 2006. I assume the Child Support Judgment is a general lien affecting all property owned by current owner. If I buy at auction, would this lien be senior to the 1st TD or was it likely taken care of when the 1st was recorded? I want to know if I might be responsible for paying the judgment. Nothing was ever filed showing a satisfaction of judgment.

In the case that the judgment was filed after the 1st, would the judgment take priority?
Thank you.

Is the first TD a “purchase money” mortgage?

A purchase money mortgage may not be subject to the seniority of prior debts as the law holds that allowing the borrower to purchase a home will likely increase their chance of paying that debt.

Check with the title officer at your title company, but I think you’d be safe to purchase that first.

That said:

  1. The recording of a subsequent lien never wipes out someone else’s prior lien - only a reconveyance or release can do that.
  2. Junior liens with rare exception never take priority unless a “subordination” agreement is recorded whereby the senior lien agrees to a junior position.

If the lien was recorded prior to the Deed of Trust but after they purchased the property then it would run with the property. If the loan was a purchase money loan and the buyer had a previously recorded family support judgement then, I checked with a title officer, and the title company would insure that property after a trustee sale without having to clear that lien. If the defaulted loan was a refi and the title company missed that when they issued the lender policy on the refi then you as the investor may be required to pay that lien. The lender (if they foreclosed on the property) would have a title policy to cover them.

I ran into this issue myself recently. After doing some research, I found out that if the first TD is a purchase money mortgage, the child support judgment would be junior to the first TD. This is in California.

if the child support judgment was against the property itself, then, the first TD would not be senior and the new buyer would be responsible for that lien against the property.