Judgments with Proper Paperwork can be Renewed Forever

Question: We own a rental home near downtown Scottsdale. The son of a well-known celebrity signed a lease for a year. After two months we received phone calls from our neighbors complaining about the noise and trash in the streets. We then inspected the home and found significant damage, including large holes in the wall, and a broken staircase. We immediately canceled the lease, and the son moved to Chandler. We now have a default judgment against the son for $19,500 in back rent and damages to our rental home. Although the son had good income working as a bartender in Scottsdale, he has been unemployed for months. We heard that he may move back to Los Angeles. In the future, however, the son may inherit significant assets, so we recorded this $19,500 judgment with the Maricopa County Recorder’s office. Our understanding is that this $19,500 judgment after recording becomes a lien on any real property that the son may sell in Maricopa County. How long will our $19,500 judgment be enforceable against the son? What if the son moves back to Los Angeles?

Answer: Your $19,500 judgment will be enforceable in Arizona for ten years, and can be enforceable forever in Arizona if renewed properly every ten years. A.R.S. § 12-1551(B).

Note: If the son moves back to Los Angeles, you can record and enforce the $19,500 judgment against the son in Los Angeles.

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