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BankruptcyLawyerHonolulu: Judgment Lien or Judicial liens
If you own a home in Hawaii you may have to strip off Judicial liens
by Honolulu Attorney, Brian Kawamoto
If you are filing a Chapter 7, you own real estate and if there is a perfected judgment against you then you should strip off this judgment by filing a separate motion with the court to avoid the judicial lien pursuant to 11 USC 522(f) (you cannot however avoid IRS tax liens in a Chapter 7), if you fail to do so that judgment will survive your bankruptcy and the creditor can seize your home even years after your case is over, this even though the underlying debt was discharged in your bankruptcy case. Sound confusing? The reason for the confusion is that you essentialy have two components when there is a perfected judicial lien against your home, the first component is the debt (which is discharged in your bankruptcy) and the second component is the perfected "lien" which is not discharged in bankruptcy unless you file a motion to strip it off. So if you think you were sued but do not know if there was a judgment entered against you, your attorney may also be in the dark on this and he may not know that he has to strip off your judgment in your bankruptcy case. Sometimes credit reports do not contain court judgments, so if you want to be sure if there is one or not, you can go down to the Federal and State Courts and review your court files there to see if there were any judgments entered by the court. if so then you must then check with the Bureau of Conveyances, or any title company in Hawaii to see if these judgments were "perfected" or recorded against your residence.
Date of this Article: March 2011
If you own your home as tenancy by entirety and only one spouse is filing for bankruptcy, please read this
Disclaimer - It is advised that you find a bankruptcy attorney or lawyer in your state when dealing with your individual situation as the bankruptcy laws are very complex and the law does change from time to time, also every state has different laws, rulings and decisions on bankruptcy matters. Statements made here reflects the author's viewpoint for general reading purposes only and therefore should not be relied upon or considered as a legal opinion or legal advice for your own particular factual situation. Each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.