Some of my clients come to me AFTER creditors have already sued them in State Court AND obtained a judgment against them.
Sounds like they're out of luck, right? Some clients believe that once a creditor obtains a judgment, it is too late to file bankruptcy on that debt.
Even once a creditor has obtained a judgment, I can still get that debt eliminated through the bankruptcy process, be it chapter 7 or chapter 13. Once you file your bankruptcy case, the creditor can take no further act to collect on that judgment. All garnishments against your bank accounts and wages must stop. And in the unlikely event that a creditor fails to stop collecting once we file the case, not to worry, I am very aggressive about filing motions for sanctions against such creditors, and getting any back any such money wrongfully withheld.
Many bankruptcy attorneys are not aware of or simply ignore a very important aspect of Missouri law. Under Missouri law, any judgment in circuit court or associate circuit court is automatically a lien against any real estate you own.
Unless you file a special motion while your bankruptcy case is going on, this lien against your house will continue to exist and may haunt you in the future. Such liens can make your property essentially worthless and you may be unable to sell your house without paying off the liens.
Many attorneys hand their bankruptcy cases off to paralegals, who absolutely lack the ability and motivation to spot these complex and important issues for clients. You could end up filing your bankruptcy case, and yet your attorney does not inform you of your rights to file a motion requesting that the judge eliminate the lien and clean it off your home.
Not at my firm. I never hand your case off to a paralegal, and we always sit down and go over your situation carefully in order to make sure you get the maximum possible benefits and protection from bankruptcy.
A qualified and thorough bankruptcy attorney such as myself will always inform you of your rights with regard to getting rid of these liens through bankruptcy. Whether you can get rid of the liens against your property depends on a complex formula. However, almost all of my clients qualify for their liens to be avoided because of the relatively low amount of equity they have in their property.