A Judgment Is Not A Lien, But A Lien Can Be Created From a Judgment

A judgment and a lien are not the same thing.

A lien is a legal right to get paid from a specific asset/property, as opposed to from an individual person.

A judgment is a court order that allows a creditor to pursue collection actions against someone (including creating a lien against assets). Depending on the laws of the state involved, such collection actions can include getting a lien against property, or wage garnishment, or seizures of bank accounts, etc.

But as far as discharge in bankruptcy goes, a debt on a judgment is no different than any other debt that doesn’t yet have a judgment–they are dischargeable in bankruptcy unless they meet one of the exceptions set forth in 11 U.S.C. 523.

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