Levy On Real Property


Levy and Suspend

Once the Execution on Money Judgment has issued from the court, one of the options to obtain the monies owed to plaintiff is to ask the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Division for a Levy and Suspend. A Levy and Suspend involves recording the Execution on Money Judgment along with a description of the defendant’s real estate. The recording at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds places a levy onto the property to ensure payment of the debt at the time of refinancing or property sale. Once recorded, if you wish to “suspend” further action, the defendant’s real estate will not be subjected to Sheriff’s Sale. An attorney/plaintiff may proceed to Sheriff Sale in the future by notifying the Civil Process office and requesting the Levy and Suspend be moved to a levy and sale.

The Levy & Suspend will remain in effect for six years unless a levy brought forward to extend the life of the levy. Please call the office if you have any questions regarding bringing a levy forward.

After the Levy & Suspend is recorded, the Sheriff’s Office mails and/or serves a true copy of the completed levy documents notifying the defendant that a levy has been placed on their property.

In order for the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Division to place a levy and suspend on a property the following documents must be mailed or delivered to our office

  • Cover Letter with contact information and a request for levy and suspend. Please make sure to specify where you would like the defendant to be notified. Please also note if there are any prior attachments on the property and the dates they were recorded.

  • Original Execution Issued by Court (this will be returned to you after the levy has been recorded).

  • Copy of Deed (with Book and Page (Unregistered Land) or Certificate Number (Registered Land) and metes and bounds description). Copies of deeds can be obtained from the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds in Dedham.

If you have a prior attachment on the real estate you wish to levy, you must indicate the date of the attachment in your cover letter in order for the Sheriff’s Office to reference the attachment. Requests to levy on a prior attachment must be received within 30 days of the execution’s issue date

Levy and Sale

The process for conducting a Levy and Sale is the same as for Levy and Suspend up through the recording of the Levy. Instead of suspending further proceedings after the recording and service to the defendant, a Levy & Sale continues to the Sheriff’s Sale of the real estate listed in the property description. Sheriff’s Sale Notices are drafted and mailed to the defendant by certified, return receipt mail, first class mail and delivered by Deputy Sheriff. In addition to the service to the defendant, the attorney/plaintiff requesting the Levy & Sale must indicate the lien holders to notify. Sheriff’s Sale Notices are then posted in the town/city hall where the property lies and in two adjoining towns. The Sheriff’s Sale Notice is advertised in a newspaper that circulates in the same town of the property location for three consecutive weeks no less than twenty days prior to the sale date. Sheriff’s Sales may be adjourned week-to-week at the request of the attorney/plaintiff or with good cause by the Norfolk Sheriff Office Civil Process Division. Sheriff’s Sales may be canceled, but in the event of the actual sale the successful bidder purchases the real estate subject to any and all prior encumbrances and must make payment in full to the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office within a specified amount of time. When the full payment is received a Sheriff’s Deed is produced for the successful bidder to record and a Sheriff’s Return details all pertinent information and dates leading up to the Sheriff’s Sale.

The costs and fees associated with the Sheriff’s Sale are incorporated into the sale total.

Discharging a Levy on Real Estate

If you have previously placed a levy on real estate and now wish to have it removed our office can assist you with a discharge of levy. In order to discharge a levy please fax or email a request for discharge to the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office. Please include the date the levy was recorded, the Book and Page the levy was recorded at, attorney/plaintiff and defendant names, the court issuing the execution, and docket number of the case. This information can be found on the invoice and documents returned to you by our office after recording the original levy.

Helpful Links

Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 69
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds Online Research


Levy On Real Estate Request Form