Within the space of just one week we recently were contacted by two individuals who wanted to either renew a judgment or collect their judgment. In both cases we had the unpleasant task of letting each person know that it was too late; their judgments were too old.
Judgments in Arizona are good for only 5 years. They expire if not renewed by the filing of a renewal affidavit within 90 days prior to their 5th year anniversary. ARS 12-1612. This statute sets forth the only Arizona procedure for the renewal of a judgment and it must be strictly complied with.
The circumstance that you have been actively trying to collect your judgment or that you have filed a lawsuit seeking collection is not enough to accomplish a renewal. The Arizona Supreme Court so ruled in the case of Fidelity Express Network v. Friedman 225 Ariz. 307, 238 P3d 118 (Ariz. 2010).
Our recommended way of handling a judgment is as follows:
- Once a judgment has been entered, obtain certified copies from the Clerk’s office and record a certified copy, plus the judgment information statement required by ARS 33-967, in any County in Arizona where you believe that the judgment debtor may own real property.
- Calendar filing a renewal affidavit within the 90 day period before the 5th anniversary of the entry of the judgment.
- After filing a renewal affidavit, obtain certified copies of the affidavit and record in each county where real property belonging to the judgment debtor might be found.
This procedure can be followed every 5 years until the judgment is paid.
The lawyers at Platt and Westby, P.C. have been practicing in the area of civil litigation and collection in the Phoenix, Arizona, area for over 40 years. Contact any of our Phoenix lawyers at 602-277-4441 or use the e-mail contact utility on our website at www.plattwestby.com to schedule a no-fee initial conference concerning any matter involving civil litigation or the collection of a judgment. We will answer your questions and, where appropriate, suggest potential options.
Platt & Westby, P.C. has offices in Phoenix, Arrowhead, Avondale, Scottsdale and Gilbert, Arizona.