(a) Creation.–A judgment in a civil action shall create a lien on all real property of a judgment debtor on filing a certified copy of the abstract of the judgment in the manner in which a notice of tax lien would be filed under paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 6323(f) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. A lien created under this paragraph is for the amount necessary to satisfy the judgment, including costs and interest.

Terms Used In 28 USC 3201

  • agency: includes any department, independent establishment, commission, administration, authority, board or bureau of the United States or any corporation in which the United States has a proprietary interest, unless the context shows that such term was intended to be used in a more limited sense. See
  • Beneficiary: A person who is entitled to receive the benefits or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract. Source: OCC
  • Court: means any court created by the Congress of the United States, excluding the United States Tax Court. See
  • Debt: means --

    (A) an amount that is owing to the United States on account of a direct loan, or loan insured or guaranteed, by the United States. See

  • Debtor: means a person who is liable for a debt or against whom there is a claim for a debt. See
  • Judgment: means a judgment, order, or decree entered in favor of the United States in a court and arising from a civil or criminal proceeding regarding a debt. See
  • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • Property: includes any present or future interest, whether legal or equitable, in real, personal (including choses in action), or mixed property, tangible or intangible, vested or contingent, wherever located and however held (including community property and property held in trust (including spendthrift and pension trusts)), but excludes--

    (A) property held in trust by the United States for the benefit of an Indian tribe or individual Indian. See

  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • United States: means --

    (A) a Federal corporation. See

(b) Priority of Lien.–A lien created under subsection (a) shall have priority over any other lien or encumbrance which is perfected later in time.

(c) Duration of Lien; Renewal.–(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a lien created under subsection (a) is effective, unless satisfied, for a period of 20 years.

(2) Such lien may be renewed for one additional period of 20 years upon filing a notice of renewal in the same manner as the judgment is filed and shall relate back to the date the judgment is filed if–

(A) the notice of renewal is filed before the expiration of the 20-year period to prevent the expiration of the lien; and

(B) the court approves the renewal of such lien under this paragraph.


(d) Release of Judgment Lien.–A judgment lien shall be released on the filing of a satisfaction of judgment or release of lien in the same manner as the judgment is filed to obtain the lien.

(e) Effect of Lien on Eligibility for Federal Grants, Loans or Programs.–A debtor who has a judgment lien against the debtor’s property for a debt to the United States shall not be eligible to receive any grant or loan which is made, insured, guaranteed, or financed directly or indirectly by the United States or to receive funds directly from the Federal Government in any program, except funds to which the debtor is entitled as beneficiary, until the judgment is paid in full or otherwise satisfied. The agency of the United States that is responsible for such grants and loans may promulgate regulations to allow for waiver of this restriction on eligibility for such grants, loans, and funds.

(f) Sale of Property Subject to Judgment Lien.–(1) On proper application to a court, the court may order the United States to sell, in accordance with sections 2001 and 2002, any real property subject to a judgment lien in effect under this section.

(2) This subsection shall not preclude the United States from using an execution sale pursuant to section 3203(g) to sell real property subject to a judgment lien.