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Restitution liens

Q1. What is a Restitution Lien?

A1. Restitution is an order of the court by which offenders are held accountable for the financial losses they cause to the victims of their crimes.  If an offender fails to make a court-ordered restitution payment to his/her victim, or if the offender is unable to make the payment, the court may place a lien on the offender’s property.  This is called a restitution lien.  Restitution liens are governed by § 16-18.5-104, C.R.S.

For more information regarding restitution liens or how to seek restitution as a victim, please refer to the Victim Restitution Page of the Colorado Judicial Branch website.  You may also choose to consult an attorney. 


Q2. How do I know if a restitution lien has been filed against my property?

A2. When a court orders a restitution lien it may be against personal property (assets, bank accounts, cars, etc.) or real property (buildings, houses, land, etc.)  Liens ordered against personal property should be filed with the Colorado Secretary of State.  This creates a public record of the lien.  You may search our UCC database to see if there are any liens related to your name by navigating to the UCC Homepage and choosing one of the options under the “Search” section.  

Liens ordered against real property are filed with the county clerk and recorder’s office in the county in which your real property is located.  You may contact the county clerk and recorder’s office for more information on how to view their real estate records to determine whether a lien has been filed against your real property.

You will also likely receive notice of the lien directly from the court or from the Department of Corrections, Division of Adult Parole & Community Corrections, or the Division of Youth Corrections. 


Q3. How do I file a restitution lien?

A3.  To file a restitution lien:

See the filing instructions.


Q4. When does a restitution lien expire?

A4.  Restitution liens are effective for 12 years if the amount due is not paid. However, the lien can be extended indefinitely if it is continued every 12 years.