When there is a judgment lien on your property, this typically makes title to your property not free and clear until the judgment lien has been satisfied or it expires. A judgment lien on your property occurs when someone sues you and wins a money judgment against you, which they then record the money judgment against your property. If you want to sell your property, and the judgment lien hasn’t expired yet (10 years from the date the judgment lien was entered), you can satisfy a judgment lien by either paying off the lien before closing or using the sale proceeds to pay off the lien. However, what happens if that judgment lien against you is wrong because you are not the same person as the Judgment debtor, and you want to sell your property? The solution is you can have your real estate attorney draft what is known as a Not-Me Affidavit.
An affidavit is swearing under oath to tell the truth on paper, just as if you were testifying in a courtroom. In North Carolina, a Not-Me Affidavit is a type of Affidavit that is primarily used for sellers of property who are stating that the judgment lien against them is wrong because they are not the person with whom the judgment lien was filed against. Further, the buyer’s title insurance company will require that the seller side draft, sign, and file a Not-Me Affidavit in these types of situations because otherwise title insurance companies won’t issue title insurance to the buyer.
The attorneys that draft up these Not-Me Affidavits must “weigh many factors such as the amount of the judgment, the age, and the likelihood that the judgment is in fact against the person to determine the best way to underwrite the issue.” (www.invtitle.com). Further, the person who signs the Not-Me Affidavit does so under penalties of perjury with the courts. If later it turns out that the person who signed the Not-Me Affidavit was lying or incorrect, they will be held liable for the judgment lien. Therefore, if you are selling your property and you have a judgment lien against you that is a mistake, have you real estate attorney draft and file a Not-Me Affidavit.
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