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Can a credit card Judgement Lien be removed from a property when there is bankruptcy

West Palm Beach, FL |

A credit card company won a default judgement against me and they placed a lien on my house. I filed Bankruptcy chapter 7 which has been discharged and included the house. Does the credit card company have to remove the lien? I am trying to deed my property to someone and this is the only lien on the property at this time. There is no mortgage on it. (I included it in the bankruptcy because there were a lot of code enforcement liens on it, however the city has removed the liens due to the bankruptcy.

Attorney Answers 3


Please review Texas Property Code:

Sec. 52.042. DISCHARGE AND CANCELLATION. (a) A judgment is discharged and any abstract of judgment or judgment lien is canceled and released without further action in any court and may not be enforced if:

(1) the lien is against real property owned by the debtor before a petition for debtor relief was filed under federal bankruptcy law; and

(2) the debt or obligation evidenced by the judgment is discharged in the bankruptcy.

Note that pursuant to section 52.043 of the Texas Property Code, the Property must have been claimed as exempt for the above to apply.

Hope this helps.

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1 comment

Robert Thomas Demarco III

Robert Thomas Demarco III


My bad -- Just noticed you reside in Florida. Florida Statute 222.01(2) provides a procedure to send a form notice to the judgment creditors claiming homestead exemption. You may also wish to consider filing a motion to reopen your bankruptcy and filing a motion to avoid judgment lien. I am not licensed in Florida, but felt compelled to do a little research as I improperly assumed you were a Texas resident. See below: A judgment lien is unenforceable on Florida homestead real property from the time the property has acquired the status of homestead until the property loses its homestead status. The Constitutional provision states that no judgment can constitute a lien on homestead property.Most courts reaching the issue of whether a judicial lien can impair Florida homestead property have held that a judgment lien, although presently unenforceable, does in fact impair the homestead exemption. See, In re Thornton, 186 B.R. 155, 157 (Bankr.M.D.Fla.1995); In re Watson, 116 B.R. 837, 838 (Bankr.M.D.Fla.1990); In re Calandriello, 107 B.R. 374, 375–76 (Bankr.M.D.Fla.1989), aff'd, 174 B.R. 339 (M.D.Fla.1992); In re Cannon, 243 B.R. 153 (Bankr.S.D.Fla.2000); In re Bird, 84 B.R. 858 (Bankr.S.D.Fla.1988). These courts reasoned that, although the lien is unenforceable, the lien still creates a cloud on the title by the mere fact the lien was recorded in the public records. Recordation of a lien, even if unenforceable, is sufficient to impair the debtor's homestead exemption. In re Lowe, 250 B.R. 422, 425 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2000)


In Florida, you enjoy a homestead exemption on your property if it is your primary residence. You could likely have had this removed in the Chapter 7 case (there are reaons not evident in your facts that could restict what I just said mind you), but you can also do it outside of bankruptcy using a 45 day procedure provided for under Florida law. In a nutshell, the credit card company does not have to remove the "lien" on your house. What you have is not actually a lien, but a cloud on your title which you must take affirmative action to remove.

You can hire a lawyer to do this if you like, but you should be able to find the procedure pretty easily by Googling and I think you'll find it easy to navigate on your own -- something I rarely say on this forum by the way.

Good luck!

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Posted should have filed an avoidance motion with the Court and argued for avoiding the judicial lien. You can however, motion the court to reopen the case, and then file your motion to avoid the judicial lien. A judicial lien such as this can be avoided to the extent the lien impairs an available property exemption.

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