Judgment Lien on my house
A creditor has filed a judgment with the county clerk's office. Once the judgment is "transcribed" and filed with the county clerk, it becomes a judgment on your home. The judgment lien is good for ten (10) years and can be extended for another 10 years. It is a lien on any property you have in that county. Most times, people don't have other property (land, commerical property, other houses) and the lien can be removed during the bankruptcy process. This is accomplished by making a "522(f)" motion under the bankurptcy code.
The key is that you have to reside in the home and your equity (in this area) has to be less then $75,001. If you own the home with your wife, then this homestead exemption increases to $150,000.
The lien removal motion is (in vast majority of cases) not opposed. In other words, the judgment creditor typically does not object because they know that the equity in the home is protected and their judgment can not attach to exempt equity. However, if the home has non exempt equity (over 75k for one debtor) or the valuation of the home is questionable (creditor believes the home is worth more) then a judgment creditor may fight the motion.
Your bankruptcy attorney will charge you an extra fee for this motion. Typically, an additional $200 to $300.
If you don't remove the judgment (even though it was discharged in your bankruptcy) then the judgment will attach to your home. If you sell, you would have to negotiate a settlement with the creditor for them to remove the lien.
/s/ Mark Lewis, Esquire