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Can an In rem lien be converted to an in personam lien by a judgment issued by a court?

San Juan Capistrano, CA |

A law firm that represents HOAs filed an in rem lien against me several years ago. I recently had a Chapter 7 BK and my in personam debt was wiped out. Even so, the law firm immediately tried to foreclose on me on the day after my Chapter 7 BK was discharged. In CA, BKs do not wipe out in rem liens. This law firm had previously obtained a judgment against me, in state court, for the same lien. This judgment was invalided by the US Bankruptcy Court. Included in the judgment is a statement that I am “personally liable for payment of the sums secured by the [in rem] lien, and plaintiff shall recover from said defendant any deficiency between the sale price and the said amount due plaintiff, together with expenses of sale.” Did this judgment convert the in rem claim to an in personam one?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. You are asking the wrong question. It appears the HOA actually did foreclose by way of judicial foreclosure so that they could obtain a deficiency judgment against you, personally. If you filed a Chapter 7 after the foreclosure and the BK court “invalidated” the judgment it would appear you have no personal liability under it. However, if the HOA is attempting to collect I would definitely consult a BK attorney. Good luck.

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