Tazewell, TN asked in Bankruptcy for Tennessee

Q: How can I get a standing judgement removed that was discharged in bankruptcy almost 4 years ago?

Discharged in 2016. The judgement still stands in the courthouse but shows a zero balance. It no longer shows on my credit report. How do I get the judgement released?

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2 Lawyer Answers
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA

A: I'm in PA, but, assuming that TN is like most states, a judgment becomes a lien on all property of the debtor throughout the state in which it is entered.

If the judgement was entered prior to your bankruptcy, it had become a lien on your property, and pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code, you could have asked the bankruptcy court to remove the lien from 1) any property claimed as exempt, and 2) any property where there was no equity value to which the judgment might attach. This is true whether you were in a Chapter 13 case, or a Ch. 7.

If none of your assets fall into those categories, you cannot otherwise strip any of your assets of the judgment lien, and its existence enables it to attach to any assets you might acquire after your bankruptcy discharge.

It is not within the bankruptcy court's power to "release" a judgment entered by another court, other than by removing that judgement's lien against specific assets.

If the foregoing avenues for removing the judgment lien were not availed of, you may still be able to reopen your bankruptcy case to get that done.

Timothy Denison agrees with this answer

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY

A: Take a copy of the schedules listing the debt and a copy of your decree to the court clerk and that should be sufficient for them to release it.

1 user found this answer helpful

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