Hello, del-ga, and thanks for visiting us!
The answer to your question is 10 years and the judgment may be
extended for longer terms.
The California Code of Civil Procedure (CCCP) governs this question.
The Code of Civil Procedure can be found at
Section 683.020: Except as otherwise provided by statute, upon the
expiration of 10 years after the date of entry of a money judgment or
a judgment for possession or sale of property:
(a) The judgment may not be enforced.
(b) All enforcement procedures pursuant to the judgment or to a writ
or order issued pursuant to the judgment shall cease.
(c) Any lien created by an enforcement procedure pursuant to the
judgment is extinguished.
BUT, if the judgment is payable in installments, Section 683.030
provides that the 10 years runs from the due date of each installment.
The period of enforceability of a money judgment or a judgment for
possession or sale of property may be extended by renewal. See Code of
Civil Procedure, Section 683.110-683.220.
A judgment cannot be renewed if the application for renewal is filed
within five years from the date the judgment was previously renewed.
A judgment may be renewed by filing an application with the court that
entered the judgment in the first place. If granted, the judgment is
extended for a period of 10 years from the date the application for
renewal is filed. 683.120.
Del, there are any number of types of judgments, the most common of
course is the money judgment which I have discussed here. If you have
a specific question about another form of judgment entered by a
California Superior Court, please ask for clarification and provide me
with the details and I will try to get that answer to you as quickly
as I can.
Let me, too, warn that periods of limitation and enforceability are
extremely complex, even though at first glance they can appear to be
deceptively straight-forward. If there is any question at all
concerning the application of your facts, please seek competent legal
counsel for specific application of the law to your facts. It is cheap
insurance for such a weighty matter.
Thanks again for visiting Google Answers.
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Clarification of Answer by
25 Jul 2002 22:45 PDT
You presented your clarification just a couple minutes before I posted
my answer, and I didn't have an opportunity to see it until after I
posted. Thanks for the information, though, very much.
An out-of-state lender brought a collection action based upon a loan
made on property located in California, that suit being heard in the
Superior Court in and for Orange County. The deficiency balance was
determined, and the borrowers bankruptcy discharged that obligation
from the borrower, leaving the guarantor liable for the deficiency.
So given these facts, how long does the out-of-state lender have to
pursue the guarantor? Certainly this is a straight-forward money
judgment, owned by the out-of-state lender. Now assuming that the
guarantor is a California resident and the Orange County court has
jurisdiction over the guarantor, then the provisions I discussed in
the main answer, ten year enforcability period, renewable by the
judgment creditor (the bank) would apply.
If the judgment debtor (the guarantor) were not to reside in
California, the case could become more interesting in certain
instances where the Orange County Court did not have jurisdiction over
the person of the guarantor.
Further, the suretyship defenses that the guarantor might have to the
action by the bank is a deep and complex question by itself.
Perhaps the action is straight forward and the liability is clear. If,
however, there is ANY question, I would strongly suggest receiving the
counsel of a qualified California Debtor/Creditor Attorney. Our
friends at FindLaw maintain a directory in concert with the folks at
Best of luck, del. Again, if there is anything I can do, please don't
hesitate to ask for clarification.
Request for Answer Clarification by
26 Jul 2002 09:16 PDT
I appreciate your prompt and clear answer.
Additional information that probably would not effect the 10 year time
The "Lender" in the case wss not the original bank lender, but a
partnership group that purchased the loan asset through the Resolution
Trust. They forclosed the property and sold it to an affiliate - for
a reduced price - thereby creating the deficiency. The guarantor
requested an appraisal, but was denied, as only the borrower (then
bankrupt) could demand an appraisal.
Clarification of Answer by
26 Jul 2002 15:57 PDT
Thank you for the additional information. I mentioned the "suretyship
defenses" in the second part of my answer, but only in passing since
such a topic crosses over the procedural law question and into
substantive law of a VERY complex area which is highly specialized and
very difficult. I must admit, candidly, that my knowledge of
suretyship and/or guarantyship is limited, hence the reference to a
debtor/creditor expert with specific experience.
A surety/guarantor subject to a massive judgment may want to inquire
as to whether a change of residency to another jurisdiction is well
advised and whether that change of jurisdiction shields assets from a
judgment. This would be the "brain surgery" of debtor/creditor, and,
although not difficult in concept is almost impossible in execution
given the comity given to another states judgment. But there are cases
and fact patterns where such an inquiry is warranted and useful.
Best of luck with this topic. It sounds like you or someone close has
lived with it for a long time. That must be trying and difficult.
Clarification of Answer by
26 Jul 2002 16:00 PDT
Thank you too for the comments, particularly that of expertlaw-ga.
He's right, that California code site is a "bear" (no pardon for the
pun). It is among the least user friendly of all the state sites that
offer such a service.