Knowing how to get rid of judgement lien is important, and there are several options for it, such as bankruptcy removal and the like. Your attorney will be the best judge to guide you on which option to exercise
What is judgment lien?
Lien is the right to keep somebody’s property until the debt is paid. And a judgment lien is one that attaches your property without your consent if you lose a monetary lawsuit against someone. The winner of the lawsuit then goes ahead and records the judgment against your property. In some states, a lien is created automatically and doesn’t need recording.
A judgment lien is favourite with creditors since it is a sure-shot way of ensuring you actually pay off your debts. For this, the creditor first obtains a judgment against you and then attaches the judgment as proof of his or her entitlement to the lien.
You can only transfer your property into another person’s name by getting the lien removed.
Can you avoid a non-consensual judgment lien on the property?
You can avoid non-consensual judgment lien on the property, if…
…the lien was a result of monetary judgment issued by a court.
…you can claim an exemption in some of your equity in the property.
…the lien would impair exempt equity, if the property were sold.
These conditions are applicable to any exempt property, including real estate and cars. However, if this is not possible, then how do you get a lien removed from your property?
So, here it is.
How to remove judgement lien from your house
There are several ways of doing it:
Ignoring judgment lien
You can choose to ignore judgment lien if you don’t possess any real property or property that is under $3,000.
Paying off the debt
Your creditors want their money and will be all too eager to release the judgment lien, once you decide to pay off your debt. For this, they will need to file the release with the recording authority. Once released from the lien, you are at liberty to do whatever you want with your property. For instance, you can sell it or lease it or transfer it to another name.
Ask the court to remove the judgment lien
In most states, a procedure is in place to request the court to remove a judgment lien. On receiving such a request, the court will examine whether it is a fit case for removal. It will basically depend upon the nature of the property under lien.
This option should be used as a last resort unless you are actually filing for bankruptcy. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy enables you to use the federal law to remove the judgment lien in the bankruptcy court. This is known as ‘lien avoidance’. Since the bankruptcy act, that contains lien avoidance Chapter 7, supersedes the state court’s judgment, your request for judgment lien removal gets fast-tracked.
It is best to make efforts to get rid of the judgment lien. For choosing the best option for the same, hiring a competent attorney is important. An attorney will assess the validity of the lien, get it reversed if wrong and also point out the way to use the most comfortable and viable option to quash judgment lien.
David Galler is an experienced bankruptcy attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia. For the last 29 years he has filed over 10,000 bankruptcy cases. He has a FIVE STAR client rating on Avvo, Kudzu.com, RateABiz.com, and Google+, among other sites. Over 99% of all Chapter 7 cases he filed have been discharged.