Can a Creditor Put a Lien On My Property?

Can a Creditor Put a Lien On My Property?

There are certain steps a creditor must go through in order to obtain a lien on your homestead property. They must file a lawsuit. If the lawsuit goes unanswered then the creditor can obtain a default judgment. The creditor can secure a lien on your homestead property by recording a judgment in official records in the county where the property is located.

The judgment can cloud title to your property so when you go to sell it or refinance it you would be obligated to satisfy the lien at the closing.

Judgment also accrue daily interest much like a credit card or personal loan. So, if there is a lien for ten years without a payment, that amount can grow exponentially and even double or triple the amount of the original debt. When your file for bankruptcy the underlying debt will be discharged but it does not automatically extinguish the lien on the property. In order to remove the lien a motion to avoid judicial lien needs to be filed in the bankruptcy case. Once an order is obtained, you can record a certified copy and get the lien removed.

Clients are often surprised that creditors may put a lien on their homestead property, thinking because its homestead, it is protected against creditors. Similarly, many clients are also surprised that their homeowner’s association has the power to foreclose on their property, even if they are current on their mortgage and even if it’s for a few thousand dollars.

If you have questions on how to remove a lien on your property feel free to contact me for assistance.

Mailing Address: 8870 N. Himes Avenue #629, Tampa, FL 33614
Physical Address: 4124 W. Linebaugh Avenue, Tampa, FL 33624
Direct Line: (813) 463-8000
Fax: (855) 529-4462

Will My Co-Signor Be Affected By My Bankruptcy?

Will My Co-Signor Be Affected By My Bankruptcy?

It is quite common for bankruptcy clients to have friends, family members, or significant others as co-signers due to their inability to obtain credit without co-signer.

Our clients are oftentimes concerned about how their decision to file for bankruptcy might affect their co-signer’s credit. If you have a credit card with a co-signer, you can still get that debt discharged by filing for bankruptcy. However, your co-signer would still be responsible for paying the balance if you do not pay it or if that debt is discharged.

If you have a co-signer on your motor vehicle, you could sign a reaffirmation agreement and continue to make the payment. Those payments would be positively reported to the credit bureaus. Then your co-signer would not be affected by your bankruptcy filing.

If you are in a Chapter 13, the automatic stay would protect your co-signer from any collection efforts by the creditor while you are in the Chapter 13 plan. However, if the creditor is ultimately not paid in full then the creditor could try to obtain the balance from the co-debtor. As long as the co-debtor or you are current on the payment, filing for bankruptcy should not adversely affect their credit.

Generally, if spouses are co-debtors and have a lot of joint debt it is more practical for both to file for bankruptcy so one spouse is not stuck with the debt. A co-debtor being on a loan or credit line raises a lot of concerns and questions on the impact a bankruptcy filing will have.

If you have any questions about how filing your bankruptcy could potentially affect a co-debtor, feel free to contact me at (813) 463-8000.

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