Q: Can a creditor attempt to collect a debt that was filed as "Avoid lien using 11 USC 522 (f) after a Ch. 7 discharge?
I filed a Chapter 13 in Atlanta, GA, October 2015 and converted it to a Chapter 7 in the spring of 2016. I had a judgment for a college debt that is not a student loan and it was listed as "Avoid lien using 11 USC 522 (f)" due to previous garnishments of my paycheck. The bankruptcy was discharged in June. I moved back to Ohio from Georgia and now the same creditor is pursuing the debt yet again. Can they do that? What should I do? The law office representing the creditor said that they have no record of the debt being cleared but I have all of the paper work associated with my case. Should I send them a copy?
A: You should send them a copy of your bankruptcy discharge notice. The creditor's attorney may only be looking in Ohio federal courts, instead of the national database. If they continue to pursue you after sending them the notice, you may be entitled to damages for violation of your rights acquired through bankruptcy. One possible exception is if they are pursuing their lien rights. If you properly avoided the lien, they lost that right. If not, they may still be permitted to pursue that, and only that, remedy.
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