Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

if a real estate lien has expired (+10yr old) what documents need to be filed, where do they need to be filed, to have the liens removed.

Asked on 5/01/13, 1:25 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
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Provisions of law allowing physical expungement of recorded instruments point toward requiring a court order and presentation of evidence showing that the recorded instrument was fraudulent in the first place. Some expired liens "remove" themselves, although the instrument that created the lien in the first place still shows in the record. Since you mention 10+ years, I assume the lien was an abstract of judgment or the like. Liens created by note and deed of trust take much longer to expire, and hence there is a provision in real estate finance law for so-called "reconveyance" of the deed of trust to the borrower upon full repaymeny, but I assumethe lien you have in mind isn't of this type. In any case, you might want either to (1) review the sections of the Civil Code dealing with "Extinction of Lien" beginning at section 2909 or "Redemption from Lien" beginning at section 2903; or (2) re-ask you question giving us more detail as to the origin and nature of the lien in question.

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Answered on 5/01/13, 1:47 pm
Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services
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Mr. Whipple provides a very long answer to say: it depends on what kind of lien it is. Without that information there is no way to determine what, if anything, can be done to remove it.

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Answered on 5/01/13, 2:48 pm

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