top Ad Widget

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Judgements and Judgement Liens

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Judgements and Judgement Liens

    I live in Tennessee. I had two possibly three judgements issued against me from credit card debt/unsecured debt prior to filing chapter 7. According to my understanding of Tennessee law the creditor must obtain a copy of the certified judgement and file it at the register of deeds office in order for this judgement to form a lien against my property. The judgements were made prior to filing my chapter 7 case which is now closed(since July 2020). To date none of these judgements have been recorded at the register of deeds office.
    My questions are: 1. Is there a possibility these judgements could come up on a title search of my property even though the registers office does not have them recorded? 2. Since they were not recorded prior to my bankruptcy does the creditor still obtain the right to do so after the bankruptcy since the judgements in Tennessee are good for ten years, or does the bankruptcy prevent them from taking that action?
    The reason I asked question 1 is that I cannot figure out why a creditor would go through the trouble of filing a lawsuit and obtaining a judgement if they were not going to bother following through with placing a lien on my property.
    Any help is appreciated.

    #2
    Originally posted by bdlswith00 View Post
    My questions are: 1. Is there a possibility these judgements could come up on a title search of my property even though the registers office does not have them recorded?
    You would need to check the property records in your county/State. In Florida we are able to look this up online and see if there were any liens filed on a property. So to be sure you should look up the property record with the State/county entity that handles deeds/property.

    Originally posted by bdlswith00 View Post
    2. Since they were not recorded prior to my bankruptcy does the creditor still obtain the right to do so after the bankruptcy since the judgements in Tennessee are good for ten years, or does the bankruptcy prevent them from taking that action?
    First rule of bankruptcy is that all liens survive. Judgments, however, are another story. If the judgment was never perfected (recorded) before the bankruptcy, it likely became unsecured debt just like everything else, and was summarily discharged.

    Originally posted by bdlswith00 View Post
    The reason I asked question 1 is that I cannot figure out why a creditor would go through the trouble of filing a lawsuit and obtaining a judgement if they were not going to bother following through with placing a lien on my property..
    I can't answer as to why a creditor wouldn't perfect a lien by recording the judgment. I suppose that not all creditors go through the trouble, as that's another cost. If the debt is relatively small (under let's say $4,000), a creditor may not think it's worth the time.

    The filing of a bankruptcy stops (most) creditors from perfecting a lien. First, my disclaimer. I'm no expert at collections, judgements, and perfected liens so take this for what it's worth. A creditor who hasn't perfected their lien before filing your bankruptcy likely ends up as a general unsecured creditor despite the judgment.

    As to why a creditor didn't record (perfect) the judgment, there may be other State non-bankruptcy issues at play as well. In some States, a non-consensual lien cannot attach to your home. In Florida, we have an unlimited homestead exemption so such lien would never attach to the home.

    If you do run into issues later, you can show the party trying to enforce the judgment, a copy of the discharge order. If they continue to pursue the matter and you know that it was discharged, you can reopen the case to seek sanctions against them (or to determine if it was in fact discharged).

    I suppose this question is really a "what-if" and I answered it in that manner. You are likely not to have issues unless they did in fact properly perfect (record) the judgment.
    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 for the reply.
      I have searched online as well as at the register of deeds office here in the county were I live, and have not been able to find any liens. I also called the circuit court clerks office. They confirmed that for the lien to be perfected their office must provide the creditor with a certified copy of the judgement and it must then be recorded at the register of deeds office. Overall I feel pretty confident these creditors never followed through.
      I still question why they would not have followed through though and I guess that is what has me questioning everything(the process). This is the wording straight from the tncourts.gov website:
      (2) Judgment Lien. A judgment lien against the judgment debtor’s realty is created by registering a certified copy of the judgment in the register’s office of the county where the realty is located. Once a judgment lien is created by registration, it will last for the time remaining in a ten-year period from the date of final judgment entry in the court clerk’s office and for any extension granted by the court pursuant to Rule 69.04. For the extension of the lien to be enforceable, the judgment creditor must register the court’s order extending the judgment.

      In Tennessee the lien follows the debtor so essentially would attach to any current and future property.

      So this leads me to believe there are no special circumstances that would deter them from recording the judgement. You could be correct that maybe it wasn't worth their time, however two of them were over 10K and one was just over 5K. Possibly the exemptions play a role. In Tennessee my personal situation(married with one child) allowed for a 50K exemption on our home. My way of thinking is if I were a creditor with a judgement against anyone would be to go ahead and perfect the lien since it last for 10 years and property values are bound to rise.
      I am sure I am way overthinking this and probably worried for nothing.
      Thanks again for your reply.

      Comment


        #4
        If the creditor failed to perfect the lien pre-petition, it's too late now. They can't take actions based upon the discharged judgment. Put it another way, I wouldn't buy that pre-petition judgment even for $1. It's worthless.

        Comment

        bottom Ad Widget

        Collapse
        Working...
        X