Vista Partition Lawyer
The City of Vista is located in San Diego County and is home to over 101,000 residents. The city was founded on October 9, 1882, and later incorporated on January 23, 1963. Following the Second World War, Vista experienced many housing and business development booms which exponentially increased the population of Vista. As Vista's housing market is somewhat competitive, residents of Vista who own homes may find themselves wanting to get the most value out of their property. Jointly owned property may often lead to disputes between co-owners. Generally, a partition action is the best remedy for disputing co-owners in four broad categories:
- Split real estate dispute;
- Brother-Sister real estate dispute;
- Investor-Investor real estate dispute; and
- Significant other real estate dispute
In granting the relief sought or other appropriate relief in a partition action to the lienholders, the judge will determine the status and priority of the liens on the property. (CCP § 872.630(a).) A judgment lien is then only enforceable during the period of enforceability of the judgment. (CCP § 697.030.) A creditor may renew the judgment lien so that it can be extended for ten years. (CCP § 697.310(b).) Recently the California Court of Appeal addressed the consequences of not renewing a lien judgment in a case decided by the Fourth District Court of Appeal known as Starcevic v. Pentech Financial Services, Inc. (2021) 66 Cal.App.5th 365.
In that case, tenants in common with a one-fifth interest in four parcels of real property sought to partition those Properties, which included defendant creditors Pentech and Roski as holders of judicial liens. The trial court determined during the first phase of the bifurcated trial that based on the dates of the recorded liens, Pentech had priority lien status amongst all the creditors. The trial court adopted the parties' stipulated interlocutory judgment, where they stipulated that "the satisfaction of any judgment or tax lien shall be prioritized by date of recording of such lien." After the Properties were eventually sold, the trial court held during the second phase of the bifurcated trial that Pentech had lost its priority status by failing to renew its judgment and deemed Roski as the priority lienholder. Pentech appealed.
The Court of Appeal affirmed, finding a judgment lien on real property falls under the Enforcement of Judgment Laws, which state that a judgment creditor has a 10-year period to enforce its judgment and that once it expires, it may not be enforced unless an application for renewal is submitted before the judgment term expires. (CCP § 683.020.) Although an interlocutory judgment in a partition action is conclusive as to the matters determined therein and nonreviewable, the Appellate Court determined that the trial court "did not revisit the priority lien determination so much as recognize that, by operation of law, Pentech's judgment lien had expired and was no longer valid." Thus, Starcevic explains that a creditor's failure to renew the judgment lien automatically extinguishes the lien and a priority lien determination does not excuse a creditor's noncompliance with the renewal requirement.How Underwood Law Firm Can Help
In order to start resolving these situations, you should contact an experienced Vista Partition Lawyer as soon as you are ready to start the next chapter of your life.