Kentucky Bankruptcy Law

Counsel with Care

You can file bankruptcy WITHOUT an attorney!

It is true – you can file bankruptcy without an attorney. We lawyers are even required to tell our potential clients this same thing. The forms you need to file can all be found online for free at the US Courts website. And, so long as you have a super straightforward case and are careful to be honest in your petition, you can likely do okay filing a bankruptcy for yourself. And it is also true that there are many code provisions and many intricacies to the law that can trip you up.

Here is one issue that home owners should know if you are considering filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 (much more complicated by the way) on your own. You may have judgment liens filed with the County Clerk against your home. This can happen if you have been sued by a creditor and the lawsuit has gone all the way through judgment. If you file a bankruptcy and get a discharge of debt, that lien will still be there. The creditor cannot come against you personally to repay the debt, but they can do something just as good and come against your home.

The way most people learn that their bankruptcy did not remove such liens is when they go to try to sell their home. The title search turns up the judgment lien still in place. These liens CAN be stripped off (removed) from your home in a bankruptcy, but it can only be done by filing a motion under 11 USC Sect. 522(f) and serving he motion on the creditor and trustee. So long as that lien impairs any of your allowed exemption in the property, it can be removed.

If you find yourself in this post-discharge quandary of have judgment liens still in place, you will have to re-open your bankruptcy and move to strip them off now. This can be a real pain if your closing is in a week because that whole process can take at least a month to bring to fruition.

March 25, 2013 - Posted by | Bankruptcy, Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Discharge, Exemptions, Planning, Pre-filing planning, Property (exempt, Security interests

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