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Question about amending Chapter 7 petition to include just-issued abstract of judgement.

Palmdale, CA |

We are in the process of Ch 7 in Central CA district. Had the trustee meeting a week ago. The judgement that the credit card had gotten, plus the original debt were both included in the filing. However the same creditor just issued an abstract of judgement through the court. Is there a way to amend our schedule (E?) and add this abstract of judgement to the bankruptcy? If we are able to do this, will it be wiped out in the discharge, as well? Thank you.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Depending on the status of your case, you might not have to amend your schedules especially if your case is a no asset one. Was the creditor properly listed including the name of their counsel? The reason I ask is that filing an abstract of judgment has been found at times to be a violation of the automatic stay because the creditor is pursuing a postpetition action to continue enforcement of a prepetition claim. This does depend on the status of your case.

    You should raise this issue with your attorney. If you did not retain one, you have an example of why if can be dangerous to go this type of case alone.

  2. I agree with Attorney Vassallo, if you had the creditor's information your original schedules there is not need to amend. Schedule E is for priority debt, not general unsecured debt (f). Also, I agree that the Abstract is a violation of the stay, you should discuss this with your attorney. Also, it does not appear there is a reason for the debt not to be discharged.

  3. Very possibly the creditor's recording of the abstract is a violation of the automatic stay. We have addressed this with the creditor successfully outside of bankruptcy court.

    Talk to your lawyer who should be able to handle. If you don't have a bankruptcy lawyer assisting you through this then you may be wise to find one now.

    Best of luck

    NOTE: we can be reached at (310) 590-4575. This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney with whom you have established an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

  4. You don't amend Schedule F to "add an abstract" because the debt represented by the abstract should already be listed in your Schedule. What you can do is amend the debt to show that creditor was represented by counsel, and list the name, address of counsel. As pointed out by others, you should check to see if the abstract was issued AFTER your case was filed because that action may be considered a violation of the automatic stay. If the abstract was issued AFTER the date your case was filed, your lawyer should contact the atty for the creditor and insist the abstract be withdrawn and notice of same be recorded to remove any lien against real estate you own. You should also file a Notice of Stay with the state court so they will not issue any further documents (writs, etc) while your BK case is pending.

  5. You need to file a notice of stay CM-180 in the state court proceeding. You file the notice of stay along with a copy of your notice of bankruptcy case filing and that will stop the state court matter. If you properly listed the lawsuit and the creditor received notice then you need to send them a letter that says they are in violation of the automatic stay and if they do not rescind the abstract immediately you will file a sanctions motion against them.

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