Q: I had a case dismissed in 2011. I am trying to refinance my house and found out they have a lien on it and I was NEVER
NEVER told about it. I went to my attorney and he told me that he would have to reopen the case to get it taken off. Just wondering is this correct? And why wasn't I told about this 3 years ago? The court was in Oxford, MS. The lien was Ford Motor Credit. Can anybody help?
A: There is a provision in bankruptcy law that allows a debtor to "avoid" or remove a judgment lien to the extent it impairs exempt property. This must be done while the case is still pending. If a debtor does not know about a judgment, or does not tell the attorney, then the attorney will not file the appropriate motion. It is fairly common that these issues arise later down the road and cases must be reopened to avoid such a judgment lien. Contact an attorney for more information.
A: Mr. Kern is right about avoiding the lien while the bankruptcy case is open. However, you can reopen the bankruptcy case (court cost is $260.00) and file a motion to avoid the judgment lien provided your equity in the home was exempt at the time of filing. The key question is whether you knew that you had a judgment on the property when you filed your case and if you told your attorney about the judgment.
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