Can a Collector Take My Home or My Kids’ Inheritance with a Judgment Lien?

A debt collector is threatening to sue me and put a lien on my home. Can they really take my property over one debt that I can’t afford to pay? And how would this affect my children if I die and there’s a lien on the property they’re supposed to inherit?

— Margaret B. in Illinois

Eric Olsen, Executive Director of HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm, answers…

Many income sources for seniors are protected

Homestead exemptions can help protect your most important asset

Foreclosure from a judgment lien is extremely unlikely

How can a judgment lien be removed if one is in place?

1. The lien does not apply to the surviving spouse

2. Homestead exemption could prevent a lien or remove it

3. The homeowner files bankruptcy

Adding children to a property deed as joint owners

What if a senior has a low income with a house payment and debts that they have difficulty paying, but they have significant equity in a home?

How a judgment lien could affect a reverse mortgage

The bottom line

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