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Getting Lien releases after Ch13 discharge

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  • Getting Lien releases after Ch13 discharge

    Hello. Wish I would have found this site during my ch13 filing 6 years ago!

    I tried to refinance my mortgage and was approved up to the point where a title search showed 2 liens again my house title. I had told my lawyer about these when did my bk and he said when you get discharged the lien holders will send releases. Well foolish me believed it and a full year after my discharge the liens still out there. one of them is from a collection company I just can't find. All the numbers in searches for them are out of service or disconnected. Does anyone know how to go about getting a lien release for a holder that went out of business? I can't get a lawyer right now due to funds so thinking of trying to do this myself.

  • #2
    You would only have a lien release if a.) you filed a motion (or complaint) to value the property and strip a wholly unsecured lien, and it was granted, b.) you filed some motion to strip the lien for some other cause (invalidate the lien), or c.) you paid the entire value of the claim during the Chapter 13 plan period.

    So you have to answer those questions first! I would look at my paperwork to see if you have such Motions to determine secured status and strip lien. If you have these and you have the Order granting the Motion then you may be able to record those Orders granting the motions to have those liens marked as satisfied (if it's a recordable Order). Otherwise, you will need to find the Order granting the lien strip or be able to clearly show that the lien was paid in full (not partially) in your Chapter 13.

    You'd then need to re-open your case and file a motion or complaint to determine secured status (depending on motion practice in your District--some Districts require the lien strip by complaint and most are by motion). Filing a complaint (adversary proceeding) is not an easy thing. Your best bet is to find the paperwork from your case to see if the lien strip (determine secured status) had been done and was successful. With any luck, it was done and granted and you have a recordable Order.

    If this is all foreign to you, you are likely going to need an attorney.
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you fro that info. I know there were no motions filed to strip the lien. That leaves C. But I did not pay the entire value of the claim, only the 9% payback the trustee determined. So it looks like even though the debt was discharged in bankruptcy the power of the lien is in full effect and can't be released because the full amount wasn't paid. I would actually try and pay it but the lien holder is out of business!

      Strange thing is i'm looking at the the lien holder's official claim form and the secured section which says if this claim is secured by a lien on property to mark it so, is totally blank. sigh. I guess I'm hosed til I can get a lawyer.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by goosebumps View Post
        Thank you fro that info. I know there were no motions filed to strip the lien. That leaves C. But I did not pay the entire value of the claim, only the 9% payback the trustee determined. So it looks like even though the debt was discharged in bankruptcy the power of the lien is in full effect and can't be released because the full amount wasn't paid. I would actually try and pay it but the lien holder is out of business!
        It's not that it can't be released, it just apparently hasn't. As JB says, you could reopen the bankruptcy case and file a petition to determine secured status.

        What is the name of the lien holder?

        If they truly don't exist and there is no successor, I wonder if you can get the court who issued the judgment to order the lien released?
        LadyInTheRed is in the black!
        Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
        $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by goosebumps View Post
          Strange thing is i'm looking at the the lien holder's official claim form and the secured section which says if this claim is secured by a lien on property to mark it so, is totally blank. sigh. I guess I'm hosed til I can get a lawyer.
          Maybe your Order Confirming Chapter 13 Plan has how it was treated during the case. But, the fact remains is that it is secured by virtue of a recorded lien. Your options are to really hunt down the owner of the mortgage (have you checked MERS' website to see if there is a recorded "current" owner of the debt? Your mission, should you choose, is to figure out just who holds the note! Otherwise, you would try a "quiet title" action by filing a lawsuit in your local court to compel them to come forward. Of course, service is the real issue there.

          The other option is to go back to the Bankruptcy court (re-open your case) and try to litigate this issue there.

          MERS Website: https://www.mersinc.org/information-...-mortgage-info
          Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
          Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
          Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


          I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

          Comment


          • #6
            once again thank you all for the info.

            Justbroke, the lien holder is not a mortgage lender. It was a debt collector who bought a credit card debt from wells fargo, and then got a judgement against me for not being able to pay the debt. they then placed a lien on my property. The lien holder is zenith acquisitions a parent company of north star capital acquisitions.

            Sounds enough like i'll need to reopen the case anyway so I'l start saving pennies.

            Comment


            • #7
              It looks like Zenith Acquisition Corp was forfeited in Maryland: http://sdat.resiusa.org/ucc-charter/...h/default.aspx

              But it is still active in New York:
              http://appext20.dos.ny.gov/corp_publ...results_page=0

              Have you tried writing them at their New York address?
              LadyInTheRed is in the black!
              Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
              $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by goosebumps View Post
                Justbroke, the lien holder is not a mortgage lender. It was a debt collector who bought a credit card debt from wells fargo, and then got a judgement against me for not being able to pay the debt. they then placed a lien on my property. The lien holder is zenith acquisitions a parent company of north star capital acquisitions.
                That's information that I did not know. So, this is a judgment lien on real property. A totally different ball of wax.

                You would need to attack the lien and re-open to file a Motion to Avoid Judicial Lien. You use such a motion to avoid judgment liens on property when your personal exemption(s) is impaired by the lien. You would need to prove as much -- that the lien is affecting your rights of, say, a homestead exemption on the property.

                If I were you, I'd just call around to 4 or 5 attorneys and ask them during a free consultation. Mention that you filed bankruptcy and it was discharged. Mention that it was a Chapter 13 and that the creditor received some payments. Then mention that they still hold a lien still your home (and other property) and that you're thinking about re-opening for the sole purpose of avoiding the judicial lien. Let them know exactly what you are expecting.

                It's unfortunate that your Chapter 13 Plan didn't provide for payment of that lien, but it may have been an overall strategy. Some people don't pay junior liens and will not deal with them until after discharge. After discharge, they would typically offer a settlement of the lien (like 5-10% of the value IF there is no way the lien attaches to any value in the property after accounting for senior liens). Zenith still answers their phones.

                I did some homework for you. They are still, in fact, registered in NY.

                (NY Department of State SERVICE Address)
                ZENITH ACQUISITION CORP.
                170 N POINTE PKWY / SUITE 300
                AMHERST, NEW YORK, 14228

                According to the NY Department of State They are owned by;

                Current Entity Name: NORTH STAR CAPITAL ACQUISITION LLC
                DOS ID #: 3251494
                Initial DOS Filing Date: SEPTEMBER 02, 2005
                County: ERIE
                Jurisdiction: MINNESOTA
                Entity Type: FOREIGN LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
                Current Entity Status: ACTIVE

                And North Star Capital has a website. So... you have a place to start.
                Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  LITR... great minds think alike. We were researching at the same time!
                  Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                  Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                  Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                  I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wow you guys (and gals) are amazing! I've been searching for info like that for days. I was told the company was in Minnesota and then saw 2 northstar websites but was told sorry we are not them. they get called all the time by people looking for north star. Thank you so much for shedding some light on this and not seeming so bleak. I'm writing a letter tonight!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by justbroke View Post
                      LITR... great minds think alike. We were researching at the same time!



                      Originally posted by goosebumps View Post
                      Wow you guys (and gals) are amazing! I've been searching for info like that for days. I was told the company was in Minnesota and then saw 2 northstar websites but was told sorry we are not them. they get called all the time by people looking for north star. Thank you so much for shedding some light on this and not seeming so bleak. I'm writing a letter tonight!
                      Glad to be of help. Anytime you need information on a company that may be a corporation, try searching the Secretary of State website in the state where they are doing business.
                      LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                      Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                      $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Do be careful when you contact them. Don't tell them where you bank or give them any other asset information, except information on the lien. If you reach a settlement, I suggest using an escrow company to hold your money until the lien is released. If you Google either company you will find that they are not known for their honest collection practices.
                        LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                        Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                        $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          great info. Too bad none of their phone numbers I found were working. But at least you all got me an address which (surprise!) actually matches the address on the claim form.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So I can either talk to them to try and reach a settlement, or re-open the case to fight to have the lien released?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You might try the strategy of sending them a letter with the copy of the Discharge Order and the "BNC Notification" (service) list to that letter. Just tell them the debt is discharged, the Trustee paid them, and you are requesting that they release the lien. With any luck, they just may release it without any fight! Keep copies of the letter(s) and send them certified, return receipt requested.

                              I love LITR's advice not to mention that you OWE them or provide them with any financial information.
                              Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                              Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                              Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                              I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                              Comment

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