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Winning a money judgment is often just the beginning of the lawyer's job in helping the client. The law places the burden on the judgment creditor to find and obtain sufficient assets to satisfy the judgment. There is no penalty (other than accruing interest) for a debtor's failure to pay a judgment creditor. For example, debtors do not have to fear jail in the vast majority of cases. But in attempting to satisfy judgments a lawyer in Maryland, as in other states, faces a thicket of statutes, court rules and case law that have grown up over the last two centuries.

Unless our goal is to protect debtors by preserving obstacles in the creditor's path or to give law professors something to consume many classroom hours, the time has come to streamline and rationalize the system of judicial liens.

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