Assuming you already have a Judgment against a person, you can place a lien on any real property that they might own or acquire after the lien is in place by obtaining and recording an abstract of judgment in the county that they either reside or that you think they might own property in.
The cost of an abstract judgment is only $25.00. The fee to record it in each county varies. In Los Angeles county the fee is only $25 for the first two pages. $27 if three pages.
Once the abstract of judgment is recorded, the judgment becomes a lien on real property located in the county of recordation regardless of whether the property is owned by the judgment debtor at the time of recordation or is acquired later.
The abstract of judgment is a judicial council form provided at the court’s website. The form is rather straight forward. It asked when the judgment was entered, the amount, the name and address of the debtor, the county in which you want to record the abstract, their social security number and driver license if you know it, your name and address (so that they can contact you in the event they want to pay off the lien), and the name and address of the debtor where you originally served them with the summons and complaint.
Just fill that information and file it with the clerk’s office. Once you get that back, you send it to the county recorder’s office to record it. And that is it.
If you suspect that the debtor might reside in more than one county or has property in multiple counties then get a abstract of judgment for each county and record them in each county to ensure you cover all your bases.