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Adversary Proceeding (Unusual Case) Please Advise!

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  • Adversary Proceeding (Unusual Case) Please Advise!

    We were sued in superior court for property damages yet to be determined.
    The plaintiff's attorneys are saying the debt is not dis-chargeable and have filed an AP.
    Need to file answer soon. Please advise.

    In 2004 my wife purchased a tax deed property in Fulton county Georgia. The tax deed describes the property as a rear lot of a 2.44 acre parcel having two lots.
    A few months after purchasing the deed I went the lot to cut the grass after being advised by to so by attorney. That day I was approached by the owner of the adjoining property and assaulted for trespassing across his lot. The police were called no charges were filed and my assailant was asked to remove himself from the property.
    Fourteen months later we hired surveyors to outline the two lots as part of a process to redeem the tax deed or perfect title. This time police are called out because the neighbor refuses to allow the survey to take place.
    The neighbor also claims he is the owner of both lots. We filed a hearing in court to have him evicted.
    We prevail. The judge told him if he was to pay the taxes (redeem the tax deed) that this would put an end to the foreclosure of the tax deed. He refused.
    Three weeks later the Marshal comes out with a crew and places all his belongings outside the building.
    Once his property is placed outside the building it is deemed abandoned according to state law.
    After many of the items were retrieved by the owner of the adjoining property, the remainder was disposed of in a dumpster.
    About ten days later the neighbor through his attorney claims they want to redeem the tax deed and are demanding the return of the property or they would sue.
    We agree to the tax deed redemption but in no way were we going to be responsible for property that was deemed abandoned property and disposed of. They sue.
    After $30,000 in attorney fees the attorney requests the court remove him from the case because we could not pay him to take the case to trial.
    I tried to defend the lawsuit pro se. That was mistake. Going up against two skilled attorneys, one a former prosecutor who presented a case I can only say that was prejudicial and inflammatory.
    I was totally unfamiliar with the rules of the court, rules of evidences, subpoena of witnesses. We got slammed.
    The judge says that we were guilty of conversion and two-hundred thousand dollars of the plaintiff’s stuff. We appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court. The conversion count was upheld. They threw out the award for damages. So the case was sent back to the trial court to determine damages.
    We could not afford another trial so we filed Ch. 7 bankruptcy.
    Two days before the end date for discharge the attorneys for the plaintiff file an AP. They say that this is a non-dischargable debt.
    Our BK attorney says that he does not represent us in the AP and if I want to hire him to bring him money. I have no money that’s why I filed Ch. 7
    Please advise I have less than 72 hours to respond.

  • #2
    I hate to say it, but it sounds like you need to hire your attorney to defend this.


    • #3
      Wow. If the Marshal put this guy out, he has 24 hours to redeem his property off of the sidewalk. If he does not, it is abandoned and can be hauled off by the city. I don't see how you got into this if you simply purchased tax deeds. I do understand how this can "snowball" as it sounds much like what happened to us. I do think it is dischargeable though as you committed no felony and it is a money judgment. It was not caused by fraud or spite.

      If you have no money that is the fallacy of our system. Our system is not perfect but the best in the World. This is why I believe in "user pays" as it costs money to defend against an unjust suit and that is just not right.

      My advice is of course appear and respond to the best of your ability. Doing nothing there is only one outcome. Doing SOMETHING, gives a chance no matter how small that may be. Remember, it is up to them to prove you wrong. You already got vindication in the ownership of the property. Also a prescriptive easement is implied and the person cannot keep you off captured property. This goes back to common law. 'Hub
      If I knew it all, would I be here?? Hang in there = Retained attorney 8-06, Filed 12-28-07, Discharge 8-13-08, Finally CLOSED 11-3-09, 3-31-10 AP Dismissed, Informed by incompetent lawyer of CLOSED status, October 14, 2010.


      • #4
        The landlord has no legal obligation to protect the personal property of a former tenant being evicted. This is another good reason why both parties should make arrangements to let the tenant move out at a particular time.

        GA Eviction law:
        If I knew it all, would I be here?? Hang in there = Retained attorney 8-06, Filed 12-28-07, Discharge 8-13-08, Finally CLOSED 11-3-09, 3-31-10 AP Dismissed, Informed by incompetent lawyer of CLOSED status, October 14, 2010.


        • #5
          It is a shame your lawyer would not follow through. You could have held his feet to the fire I believe, and then you would have him to pay in the future. It was way out of your league to go pro se on that one. It was previously shown the neighbor was wrong, but perhaps if you just settled with that jerk, give him the tax deeds and take the tax loss just to get away from it, would that work? Otherwise, I would make him a life project by moving a homeless retreat on the property adjoining his, or a rap band practice field.
          If I knew it all, would I be here?? Hang in there = Retained attorney 8-06, Filed 12-28-07, Discharge 8-13-08, Finally CLOSED 11-3-09, 3-31-10 AP Dismissed, Informed by incompetent lawyer of CLOSED status, October 14, 2010.


          • #6
            Adversary Proceeding Response

            Thanks for the response.When I filed the affidavit and signed on behalf of my wife I was charged with filing a false affidavit. In the trial I was unable to enter into the record the power of attorney. Thus the charge stuck and that's how they got to conversion. I believe you may be right since the judge said on the record is that we assumed we were following the law.
            There was no intent to do harm or deprive anyone of anything. I think I would have good chance in the AP since it is at the federal level and not in Superior court. The judge's hate pro se defendants that's why it went so hard on us.
            The attorney wants to settle and I'm inclined to agree if we can come to terms.
            If I had the resources I think it might be worth going into Superior court for a hearing on damages.


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