Doug Rendleman *

Home ownership is a cornerstone of success in America. People seek a stable job, a great marriage, 2.5 kids, and a brick house with a white picket fence. Those who don‘t have that life, dream of it. That is why it is called ?The American Dream.? Home ownership is a sign of stability and community. An owner has the opportunity to accumulate wealth in the form of equity. The mortgage market is inseparably commingled with the overall well-being of the national economy. The state of the housing market is simultaneously an indicator of and a contributor to the health of the economy. When foreclosures rise to unhealthy levels, it hinders the recovery of the economy as a whole.

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*Huntley Professor, Washington and Lee Law School. This has been a group project. Thanks to two indispensable Washington and Lee law student research assistants—Katie Dickinson at the beginning and Trista Bishop-Watt at the end. Thanks also to Christina Rossi for helping with the footnotes and citations. Thanks to two Virginia lawyers, Henry Woodward and Henry McLaughlin, for sage advice at an early stage. Thanks for John Eller‘s early assistance. Finally, thanks to the Frances Lewis Law Center for support. This article is based on Chapter 10 of the book, Doug Rendleman, Enforcement of Judgments and Liens in Virginia (Third Edition 2014), copyright Matthew-Bender and Co, Inc. This article is printed with the permission of Matthew-Bender and Co, Inc., the copyright owner, a Lexis-Nexis Company and may not be redistributed without the prior permission of the same. All rights reserved. To purchase Enforcement of Judgments and Liens in Virginia (Third Edition 2014), see