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Judgment Lien Against Principal Residence Prohibited

By Christopher Combs | July 25, 2021

Question: We are in escrow to sell our Gilbert home. When our daughter went to UCLA four years ago, we guaranteed payment of her credit card. Although our daughter is doing fine now, she dropped out of UCLA and never paid the balance on her credit card. We were sued as the guarantors of her credit card, and we now have a $30,000 credit card judgment against us. The title company says that this $30,000 credit card judgment, unless we pay it off, prevents us from selling our Gilbert home because both the buyer and the buyer’s lender need a “clean” title insurance policy. We need this $30,000 to purchase a new home. Is the title company correct? Answer: Probably not. Since a 2018 Court of Appeals decision, the Homestead Exemption in Arizona has prohibited judgments from being liens on the principal residence of a homeowner. 246 Ariz. 104. Therefore,…

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Can You Sell Home Not Built By Licensed Contractor?

By Christopher Combs | July 18, 2021

Question: My husband was a licensed contractor in Oregon. Eight years ago we bought a lot in Queen Creek to build our retirement home. My husband retired two years ago and we came to Arizona full-time to build and live in our Queen Creek home. Three months after we moved into our Queen Creek home, however, my husband unexpectedly passed away. I cannot afford to live in our Queen Creek home by myself, and I may move back to Oregon to live with my daughter. Will I be able to sell the Queen Creek home even though my husband was not a licensed Arizona contractor? Answer: Probably. Under Arizona law an owner of land can build a home on that land without obtaining a contractor’s license, but only if the owner intends to occupy the home, and does not intend to sell or rent the home. If the owner of…

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