Judgment creditors are only allowed to enforce a money judgment for 10 years. This is because money judgments automatically expire after 10 years. Once the judgment expires, the judgment creditor can no longer collect any unpaid judgment amounts. In order to extend the time to collect on a judgment after 10 years, a creditor can file to renew California judgment. It is important for the judgment creditor to renew the judgment prior to the 10 years running out. Read on to learn more information about how to renew a California judgment.

Why Renew a California Judgment?

A California money judgment will expire 10 years from the date it was entered. The judgment creditor is required to renew their California judgment to retain their right to collect money from the judgment debtor beyond this 10 year period. Once a judgment is renewed, the judgment creditor will be able to resume their collection efforts. For example, if the judgment creditor has a wage garnishment to enforce their judgment, they will need to provide the levying officer with a certified copy of their Application for and Renewal of Judgment to continue the enforcement without interruption.

Deadline to Renew California Judgment

Money judgments automatically expire after 10 years. In order to prevent a judgment from expiring, the judgment creditor must file a request for renewal of the judgment before the 10 years runs out. If the judgement is not renewed in time, the judgement creditor will lose their opportunity to collect any remaining money owed on the judgment. After you get a judgment, you should immediately calendar the California judgment renewal deadline!

It should be noted that many courts are extremely slow in processing a renewal of a California judgment. For example, the last Judgment Renewal we filed in Los Angeles Superior Court took almost 4 months to process. Another recent Application to Renew Judgment filed in Ventura County took more than 5 months! For this reason, it is critical that the California judgment renewal process be started at least six months before the expiration date. This should give you enough time to get your judgment renewed, allowing for any processing delays by the court clerk.

Once the judgement has been renewed, the judgment creditor will have another 10 years to collect the judgement. The judgment can be renewed for 5 more years within the 10 year term. Any interest that is accrued can be added to the principal balance. Interest will continue to add to the amount owed.

At A People’s Choice, we recommend the judgment creditor renew the California judgment at least six months before the 10 years runs out.

Overview of Process to Renew California Judgment

California Code of Civil Procedure sections 683.010 through 683.220 provides detailed procedures on how to renew a California judgment. In order to collect post judgment costs and interest, the judgment creditor must file a Memorandum of Costs after Judgment. This must be served on the judgment debtor before filing. Service must be made by a 3rd party who is 18-years of age or older. Service can be made personally or by mail. The server must complete the Proof of Service on the MC-012.

Next, the judgment creditor must prepare and file an Application and Renewal of Judgment in the court where the judgment was issued. The judgment creditor will be required to pay a filing fee and provide the judgment debtor with notice of the application for renewal. The judgment creditor will be required to serve the judgment debtor with a Notice of Renewal of Judgment by having a 3rd party personally serve it as instructed above. Proof of service must be filed with the court.

Forms to Renew California Judgment

The following California judgment renewal forms are required to be filed in the court where the Judgment was originally ordered to renew a judgment:

  1. Application for and Renewal of Judgment  – Form EJ-190
  2. Notice of Renewal of Judgment – Form EJ-195
  3. Memorandum of Costs after Judgment – MC-012 (If applicable)

The Application for and Renewal of Judgment requires the following information:

  1. Name and address of the judgment creditor or assignee of record.
  2. The judgment debtor’s name and last known address.
  3. Information regarding the original judgment such as the case number, the date the judgment was entered, the county in which it was entered, and the instrument #.
  4. The judgment creditor will also have to disclose whether the judgment has been previously renewed and the new renewed total judgment sum.

If a lien was created at the time of the original judgment, it must be renewed as well. The judgement creditor must record a certified copy of the Application for and Renewal of Judgment with the county recorder to extend the real property lien. Note, judgment liens on personal property end at 5 years.

Although the forms seem simple, it is easy to make a mistake which could result in a delay in approving the judgment renewal and, in the worst case situation, the expiration of your judgment!  You don’t need to hire an expensive attorney to help you; but low-cost, non-attorney professional help is available. A People’s Choice has over 35 years experience in helping people with their legal document preparation. Call us at 800-747-2780 today to see how we can help renew your California judgment.

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