Letter to “Ask Leon”
I filed for bankruptcy in 1997 and it was discharged in the same year. Prior to me filing, I received a Judgment Lien against me from a creditor for a vehicle that was totaled and I didn’t have car insurance at the time. I included this creditor in my bankruptcy. It was discharged. I purchased a home in 2004 and now I want to get the home refinanced. I was told by the title company that the debt is still showing as valid at the Circuit Court. I went to the court and gave them my bankruptcy papers. They gave the case to a judge and he says that since the Judgment was entered prior to me filing for bankruptcy that the debt is still valid. What can I do?
I encounter this situation a lot. When this comes up, I have had very good success talking to the title company that the lender is going to use. Find out who the title company is and talk to the title officer. Most title companies will easily conclude that the Judgment was discharged, and that no Lien ever attached against the property because the property was acquired after the bankruptcy. If that doesn’t work, tell the lender to switch title companies and use a different one! If that doesn’t work, get a good local bankruptcy attorney involved.