28 USC 3201 - Judgment liens
Sec. 3201. Judgment liens(a)
A judgment in a civil action shall create a lien on all real property of a judgment debtor on filing a certified copy of the abstract of the judgment in the manner in which a notice of tax lien would be filed under paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 6323(f) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. A lien created under this paragraph is for the amount necessary to satisfy the judgment, including costs and interest.
Priority of Lien.—
A lien created under subsection (a) shall have priority over any other lien or encumbrance which is perfected later in time.
Duration of Lien; Renewal.—
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a lien created under subsection (a) is effective, unless satisfied, for a period of 20 years.
(2) Such lien may be renewed for one additional period of 20 years upon filing a notice of renewal in the same manner as the judgment is filed and shall relate back to the date the judgment is filed if—
(A) the notice of renewal is filed before the expiration of the 20-year period to prevent the expiration of the lien; and
(B) the court approves the renewal of such lien under this paragraph.
Release of Judgment Lien.—
A judgment lien shall be released on the filing of a satisfaction of judgment or release of lien in the same manner as the judgment is filed to obtain the lien.
Effect of Lien on Eligibility for Federal Grants, Loans or Programs.—
A debtor who has a judgment lien against the debtor’s property for a debt to the United States shall not be eligible to receive any grant or loan which is made, insured, guaranteed, or financed directly or indirectly by the United States or to receive funds directly from the Federal Government in any program, except funds to which the debtor is entitled as beneficiary, until the judgment is paid in full or otherwise satisfied. The agency of the United States that is responsible for such grants and loans may promulgate regulations to allow for waiver of this restriction on eligibility for such grants, loans, and funds.
Sale of Property Subject to Judgment Lien.—
(1) On proper application to a court, the court may order the United States to sell, in accordance with sections 2001 and 2002, any real property subject to a judgment lien in effect under this section.
(2) This subsection shall not preclude the United States from using an execution sale pursuant to section 3203 (g) to sell real property subject to a judgment lien.
Last modified: July 21, 2011