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Home Buyers: Clear Any Old Judgement Before Home Shopping!

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty 8431215

In New Jersey, I have seen a pattern of buyer judgements NOT showing up in credit reports.  Now, while I never review a credit report, I always ask a lender, "Do you see any red flags?".   While we cannot discuss buyer's credit specifically or in detail, they are allowed to answer that question.   If they say no, I have confidence in that buyer's ability to get to settlement. 

As the seller's agent, I have been surprised to have a few cases of "old judgments" show up on the title report, some mere days before the scheduled closing. Like I stated earlier, these judgements did not show up in the credit report, as per their lender.    This creates a stressful,  last- minute dilemma for all involved, and it is not fun.   Most lenders, even though their mortgage will be "registered" ahead of any judgement, want the judgement explained and typically paid off.

In other words, there is no hiding from this.  Take care of this before home shopping, and when in doubt, check with your trusted advisors (attorney, lender, and your full time agent).

Please contact me with any real estate needs or questions at (609) 864-8164.



Posted by

Michael Elliott



Burlington, New Jersey Real Estate 

Broker / Salesperson

Fathom Realty


cell (609) 864-8164   office (888) 455-6040


Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is good advice to share with prospective mortgage borrowers.

Apr 12, 2024 07:29 AM
Michael Elliott

Yes indeed!

Apr 12, 2024 07:45 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Michael and great information to share with us on the Friday.  Hope business is going great for you.

Apr 12, 2024 09:23 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Michael Elliott, this is something new in the last several years about judgments appearing on the titles in the previous few days. I remember my friend who owned a title company telling me about this. 

Apr 12, 2024 11:42 AM
Michael Elliott

Hannah Williams it is unsettling!   Going forward, I will have a chat with 100% of my buyers about this!

Apr 12, 2024 01:24 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Agreed, Michael! The last thing needed is for an ugly past judgement to become the only impediment to otherwise, qualify for a loan.

Apr 14, 2024 05:55 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

We always open a pre-sale escrow when we list a property for sale. That will cause the title/escrow company (same company in our market area) to generate a Preliminary Report which should show any liens including judgement liens.

When working with a buyer, we insist on a preapproval for a mortgage. We need to know that the buyer can afford the houses that we will be viewing. I have full confidence that the lender we recommend would raise the flag if there was a credit problem...especially re: a judgement lien. I expect any competent lender to do the same.

Apr 14, 2024 06:29 PM