That is unfortunately a story we hear all of the time these days. A lot of information is needed in order to give you any exact advice on the situation. It depends on how the landlord is dealing with the home in the bankruptcy case. If they are keeping and curing the property you probably will be ok. If they are surrendering the property in the bankruptcy it may ultimately be foreclosed on. You need to talk to a bankruptcy attorney in your area. I am sure they would help for little to no...
I would recommend at least speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area. If you have nothing to lose it may be in your best interest to go ahead and file for bankruptcy protection. The scary thing about judgments is that they stay in the public record for a long time and usually are enforceable for long periods of time. So even if you have nothing now you may in the future.
Just to expand a little on Ms. Koslyn answer earlier. Procedurally you will receive a notice of commencement in the mail showing all of the information on the bankruptcy filing, including the 341 meeting of creditors date and your deadline to file a Proof of Claim. You will also likely receive an inquiry sheet from the U.S. Trustee about the creditors committee. I would highly recommend hiring a local bankruptcy attorney to advise you on this matter. You certainly do not want to do anything...
Typically the way a creditor would find out about the settlement funds would be through discovery in the deficiency case. That being said you may have to do certain financial disclosures during the settlement that could lead to the disclosure. I would speak to your attorney in the personal injury case about this.
Just like any other federal lawsuit there are two options when you do not agree with an order/judgment. You can file a Motion for Rehearing or Appeal the Order/Judgment. I would recommend seeking experienced bankruptcy counsel in your area. Adversary Proceedings can be tricky.
Your exemptions are controlled by what statute your particular state follows. They will either follow the federal bankruptcy exemptions or opt to use state exemptions. In Florida there is no specific exemption for rental deposits unless you can exempt it under another exemption. You will need to speak with someone in your state for that answer. Normally attorneys will help you with that for little to no charge.
Unfortunately if you can be garnished the judgment can stay valid for up to 20 years. It is originally good for 10 and then can be re-recorded for another 10 years. So technically they have up to 20 years to garnish your wages or accounts to satisfy the judgment. You need to go speak to a local attorney about this soon.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can remove a second or third mortgage from your homestead if you can prove the value is less than what you owe on your first mortgage. I see you are in Florida and normally that is the case! I would go speak to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney and they can let you know the specifics of your situation.
Just to add one thing. Please make sure to file a Proof of Claim for any amount you believe the company owes you. That way at least your claim is out there, even if you are scheduled. The two answers above are right on point. Equity Holders are in a very tough spot in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I would go speak directly with a Chapter 11 attorney if you have a lot to potentially lose.
Usually a bankruptcy does not release any kind of criminal judgment. You may want to schedule an appointment with a local bankruptcy attorney to discuss your particular options. Most of them offer a free initial consultation.