Sometimes I have a client rush to my office because they have a pending lawsuit and they want to file for bankruptcy before the creditor files a judgment. In most circumstances, I highly advise clients to file the bankruptcy before the creditor file a civil judgment. The reason for this is that even though your bankruptcy attorney can usually undue or “lien avoid” the civil judgment, it is usually cleaner if the civil case is stopped before the creditor can file it. I see prior bankruptcy clients trying to get mortgages after the bankruptcy case has been discharged and they have some minor issues with judgments that have been lien avoided. While in most instances the issues are minor, it is still an inconvenience to the debtor.
In some of my clients’ situations, it is not possible to file right away and therefore the creditor obtains a civil judgment. In this case, the bankruptcy attorney needs to sit down with the client before the creditor files a judgment to see if the client can lien avoid the judgment once the bankruptcy case is filed. In most cases, the debtor usually does not have a problem with avoiding the lien.
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, the client will need to get proof that the creditor filed a judgment in the county where the debtor resides. I can assist my clients with this process.
Article written by: Lawyer Attorney Daniel Stone, Stone Law Firm, LLC