•   Email
  •   Print
Serving
Massachusetts Agencies

Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act of 1990

Federal Tax and Tax Liens

Federal judgments are liens against property for twenty years. However, if a judgment is not recorded the provisions of the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act of 1990 working with other statutes (see below) limit the attaching of the lien to real estate. Under the Act liens should be recorded in the same records as notices of tax lien The statutes that limit their effect if not so recorded are these:

  1. 28 U.S.C.A. 1962 provides that "[e]very judgment rendered by a [federal] district court . . . shall be a lien . . . . Whenever the law of any state requires a judgment of a State court to be . . . recorded . . . before such lien attaches . . . such requirement shall apply [to federal judgments] only if the law of the State authorizes the judgment of a court of the United States to be . . . recorded . . . ."
  2. Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 184, Section 17 provides that "[a] judgment or decree, at law or in equity . . . affecting the title to real property, shall not have any effect . . . unless a certified copy [thereof] . . . has been recorded . . . ."
  3. Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 36, Section 24 provides that "[n]otice of a federal . . . lien on real property . . . shall be filed with the register of deeds . . . ."