An abstract of judgment is a document that summarizes the outcome of a lawsuit and spells out precisely the amount of money that is owed to the winning party in a lawsuit by the party that lost. Such documents typically include data including the total amount of the money judgment, the interest to be paid on that amount, the total amount of court costs due and any other specific actions that the losing party must take in order to satisfy their obligations. Abstracts of judgment are generally filed within the jurisdiction where the lawsuit occurred so that a public record of the debt is created; this allows for the creation of liens that may be required to actually secure payment from the loser. Should the losing party fail to make payment as required by an abstract of judgment, the winner may seek to compel a sheriff's sale of the loser's property. However, if there are preexisting liens or mortgages on such property, it can prove difficult for the winning party to collect on the judgment.