I have asked this before but only received replies from non NJ attorney, unfamiliar with NJ law that allow state court to strip judgment 1 year after closing of case without re-opening bankruptcy case.
I have a money judgment lien against my property. The bankurptcy case was closed about 2 years ago and now I would like to remove that judgment lien. I heard that you can file a motion to remove the lien in state court. would this go under the same docket number as the original lawsuit? Would it be in same county as where judgment was entered under same docket?
also if I hire an attorney what is the range of fees I can expect to pay for such a service?
thank you for your help
Yes, Under N.J.S.A. 2A:16-49.1, anytime after one (1) year has elapsed after a debtor is discharged from their debts, you may apply to the same Court for an order directing that the subject judgment be expunged.
Range of fees - $500 - $1500 depending on opposition, if any.
Yes, you would need to file the motion under the same docket number and in the same Court in which the judgment had been entered. You can remove the judgment lien of record so long as the judgment lien was an avoidable lien under the Bankruptcy Code at the time your bankruptcy was filed. We charge $500.00 for the motion plus Court costs, which is usually $35.00. If opposition was filed by the judgment creditor the cost could increase, but it is extemely rare that oppostion is filed.
Yes, you can file the Motion in State Court under the same docket number and it is under the authority of the case law called In re Party Parrot.
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Mr. Johnson is correct. A separate motion needs to be filed in each lawsuit which resulted in judgment, under the same docket number These are almost always unopposed and done on the papers.
The foregoing answer is for informational and educational purposes, not for purposes of legal representation. This answer is based on New Jersey law and is necessarily general in nature.. Laws in other states may be different, and each situation is different, so this answer might not apply accurately to you. No attorney client relationship is to be implied from this answer. Always seek independent legal advice.
If you are seeking to "AVOID" the fixing of a Lien in the State Court after a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case, the lien can only be avoided if it impaired your exemption under § 522 of the bankruptcy code. There is a formula at § 522(f)(2)(A) setting out how to tell what portion of the lien, if any, impairs the exemption and is avoidable, and what portion would remain as a lien. A well prepared motion will set out all of these particulars. If the lien in question was eligible to be avoided as an impairment of the exemption, it could also have been avoided in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Liens can not be "stripped" in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases for other reasons as they can in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.
Bruce C. Truesdale