February 26, 2020

Will a Bankruptcy Filing Stop the Enforcement of a Judgment Lien

First – I LOVE your blog – you have great info!!  Little background.  Discover card sued us for around $15,000 on cc debt, we disputed etc and after going back and for in court the attorney who BOUGHT the debt filed for summary judgment, we filed for a motion to reconsider.  Judgment was granted on 8/13 and our motion to reconsider was heard on 9/4.  The judge denied the motion to reconsider and at that time I informed him we signed papers and paid/hired an attorney to file bankruptcy.

They judge did not say anything about re-affirming the summary judgment he just said he denied our motion to reconsider and right after that I gave him the paperwork where we hired attorney and paid to start BK proceedings.  We are pretty sure we are going to have to file chapter 13.  My question is this – we received paperwork today – 9/13 that since the court entered judgment against us on 8/13 they were filing a judgment lien- it did not specify on what.
My question is can this be enforced or will the BK stay or stop the judgment/lien?

Jonathan Ginsberg’s response:  First, thank you for the kind words about my blog.  I can alreay tell that you are a perceptive and intelligent reader. 

You did not say where you live, so I’ll answer as if you were in Georgia, where I practice.  If you live outside of Georgia, my observations may not be correct.

A judgment lien in Georgia attaches to any and all property you own.  It can also be used to garnish your wages.  As such a judgment lien is considered a secured debt since all of your property secures it.

If you file a bankruptcy, all action to enforce or perfect the lien would stop immediately pursuant to the automatic stay.  During the course of your bankruptcy you and your counsel should consider filing a Motion to Avoid the Judicial Lien pursuant to Section 522 of the Bankruptcy Code.  If the judicial lien is avoided the secured judgment lien becomes an unsecured debt paid at the same percentage as your other unsecured debts.  If you don’t avoid the lien, the judgment lien will be paid in full by the trustee as a secured claim.

[tags] judgment liens, Motion to Avoid Lien, 522 Motion, judgment creditors, enforcement of judgment [/tags]

About Jonathan

Jonathan Ginsberg represents honest, hardworking men and women in the Atlanta area who need personal bankruptcy protection. In practice for over 25 years, Jonathan teaches bankruptcy law and practice at legal continuing education seminars and he is a founding member of the Bankruptcy Law Network. Jonathan lives with his wife and children in Atlanta.

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