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Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? How?

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  • Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? How?

    California.
    My ex husband, the non-custodial parent, has left the country. In doing a simple google search, it appears he sold his home in 2012 for a pittance of what it is worth. He owes significant arrears in child support, which was automatically collected through the state of California until he stopped working or collecting unemployment. My question is this: How could he sell his home when it supposedly had a lien on it (placed by child support services) for child support arrears? He sold the home for an amount that's just less than the arrears he owes. Is this a tactical move that would nullify the amount owed for the lien? Or under California law, would the lien still be enforced and 100% of proceeds from sale then be paid, since it's all owed in arrears? Please advise.

  • #2
    Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

    If there was still a mortgage on the home that would be paid before the lien. If there was nothing left after that then the lien would get no payment.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

      Originally posted by pansygal View Post
      California.
      My ex husband, the non-custodial parent, has left the country. In doing a simple google search, it appears he sold his home in 2012 for a pittance of what it is worth. He owes significant arrears in child support, which was automatically collected through the state of California until he stopped working or collecting unemployment. My question is this: How could he sell his home when it supposedly had a lien on it (placed by child support services) for child support arrears? He sold the home for an amount that's just less than the arrears he owes. Is this a tactical move that would nullify the amount owed for the lien? Or under California law, would the lien still be enforced and 100% of proceeds from sale then be paid, since it's all owed in arrears? Please advise.
      First, delinquent child and spousal support in California accrues interest at 6% per month to a maximum of 72% per year. Child and spousal support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy nor nullified by any maneuver one makes. It is even a lien against the obligor's estate.

      If there was a lien against the house, it can still be enforced. While it should have been paid in escrow and was not, it can still be enforced now against the new owners.

      My recommendation is that you see a real estate attorney who can order a preliminary title report -- at less cost than an individual can -- and go from there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

        It was likely not perfected by filing with the county title office.
        Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

        I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

        Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

          Originally posted by Disagreeable View Post
          It was likely not perfected by filing with the county title office.
          Judgments out of superior courts, which is where delinquent child support judgments are entered are automatically of record, a lien against title to real estate. One does not have to trek over to the title [sic] office to record them. There is no such thing, anyway, for they are called auditor's offices.

          Judgments are logged, docketed, recorded in the judgment rolls of the courts and automatically become of record with the auditor's offices.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

            Originally posted by Friend In Court View Post
            Judgments out of superior courts, which is where delinquent child support judgments are entered are automatically of record, a lien against title to real estate. One does not have to trek over to the title [sic] office to record them. There is no such thing, anyway, for they are called auditor's offices.

            Judgments are logged, docketed, recorded in the judgment rolls of the courts and automatically become of record with the auditor's offices.
            That would be interesting since a basic title search would have turned up a perfected lien, so obviously that did not happen. If that is the situation, the title insurance company did not do their job and a simple law suit for collection should solve the problem.
            Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

            I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

            Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

              The one who would have a claim against the title company is the one who purchased the policy, not the third party.

              A title company is an insurer and has a contract only with the purchaser of the title policy.
              Basic law of liability.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

                Originally posted by Friend In Court View Post
                The one who would have a claim against the title company is the one who purchased the policy, not the third party.

                A title company is an insurer and has a contract only with the purchaser of the title policy.
                Basic law of liability.
                It is nice that you understand that. So when OP sues the new owner, the title company would be responsible for paying any judgment. I repeat, the lien was not perfected to the property or the title company would have caught it during the title search.
                Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

                I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

                Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Friend In Court View Post
                  First, delinquent child and spousal support in California accrues interest at 6% per month to a maximum of 72% per year. Child and spousal support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy nor nullified by any maneuver one makes. It is even a lien against the obligor's estate.

                  If there was a lien against the house, it can still be enforced. While it should have been paid in escrow and was not, it can still be enforced now against the new owners.
                  I don't know where you get your information. 72%?!?! Interest on arrears in California is 10% per annum, among the highest, but not the highest.

                  The new owner, if they purchased the property through legitimate means (including title search) have zero obligation.

                  Finally, I wouldn't be surprised if in fact there was a mortgage and it was sold for just enough to cover that, no lien gets paid ahead of a mortgage.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

                    The issue is whether the lien was perfected or not. If it is on record (registered), a claim must usually be brought within a statutory time for collection.


                    (Bad day for me. I'm not going statute hunting.)
                    Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

                    I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

                    Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

                      Originally posted by Disagreeable View Post
                      It is nice that you understand that. So when OP sues the new owner, the title company would be responsible for paying any judgment. I repeat, the lien was not perfected to the property or the title company would have caught it during the title search.
                      Little you know, Disagreeable, about real estate and the amount of times title companies pay claims. Title searches are often done by $10 an hour clerks who DO miss things like a spouse one never divorced.

                      Title companies pay claims every day of the week for things they missed. They do not to publicize it, of course, but those who have worked in the industry like I have for over 20 years know that for a fact.

                      When judgments are entered in superior courts they go to the judgment rolls. It is from there the county auditor/registrar picks them up and gives them an auditor's fee number.

                      Yes, when a lien holder goes to execute against property, if was sold to a third party who bought a purchaser's policy of title insurance, that person has a claim against their title company for missing the judgment. It happens all the time.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

                        So then why are you peeing in the wind FIC? Fish or cut bait. It either was done and missed or it was not done and screwed up.

                        If the lien was properly perfected, OP can sue the new owner and their title insurance will pay for missing it. This does not need to be rocket science. If the lien was not perfected, OP can sue the new owner, however, I don't know that in CA they would be successful. If it was a state error, the state is likely immune to being financially responsible.
                        Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

                        I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

                        Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

                          Originally posted by goddessoflubboc View Post
                          I don't know where you get your information. 72%?!?! Interest on arrears in California is 10% per annum, among the highest, but not the highest.

                          The new owner, if they purchased the property through legitimate means (including title search) have zero obligation.

                          Finally, I wouldn't be surprised if in fact there was a mortgage and it was sold for just enough to cover that, no lien gets paid ahead of a mortgage.

                          Recheck the statutes for 10% interest is the rate on civil judgments. However, it is 6% per month on child and spousal support, to a maximum of 72% per annum. My figures come from the statutes as up to date as last week.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

                            Originally posted by Disagreeable View Post
                            So then why are you peeing in the wind FIC? Fish or cut bait. It either was done and missed or it was not done and screwed up.

                            If the lien was properly perfected, OP can sue the new owner and their title insurance will pay for missing it. This does not need to be rocket science. If the lien was not perfected, OP can sue the new owner, however, I don't know that in CA they would be successful. If it was a state error, the state is likely immune to being financially responsible.
                            Executing against the property is the remedy, not suing the new owners. The process is called "writ of execution."

                            If those who post on real estate law had ever taken a class in it their advice might be worth something. Or if they had any litigation experience or education, then they might be worth listening to.


                            The county records judgments, by the way, not the State.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Noncustodial parent left county. Sold home even with child support lien on it? Ho

                              Originally posted by goddessoflubboc View Post
                              I don't know where you get your information. 72%?!?! Interest on arrears in California is 10% per annum, among the highest, but not the highest.

                              The new owner, if they purchased the property through legitimate means (including title search) have zero obligation.

                              Finally, I wouldn't be surprised if in fact there was a mortgage and it was sold for just enough to cover that, no lien gets paid ahead of a mortgage.
                              Although civil judgments acquire interest at 10% per annum in California, the exception is for child or spousal support -- 6% per annum by statute -- up to a maximum of 72% per year. That comes from the California Civil Code and was up to date as late as last week when I checked it.

                              Comment

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