Can my unsecured debts get turned into judgements against me? 31 Answers as of June 10, 2013

I am deciding if I should file for chapter 7 or not. If unsecured debts can be turned into lawsuits and judgments against me and most of my debts are unsecured, is there any incentive in filing?

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Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Filing bankruptcy will keep them from becoming Judgements. That is the reason to file.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/15/2011
Ray Fisher Law Offices
Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
Unsecured creditors can sue you and get judgments. Most of them will not do so. However it is impossible to predict which ones will and which ones will not. You should consult a bankruptcy lawyer about how bankruptcy will work for you.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/14/2011
Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
Yes, Chapter 7 will keep them from garnishing you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/14/2011
Benson Law Firm
Benson Law Firm | David Benson
A bankruptcy filing will halt collections suits and discharge most unsecured debts completely.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/14/2011
The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin
The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin | Jared B. Gaynor
Of course unsecured debts can be sued upon, and judgments obtained. However, with a Bankruptcy discharge, since no liability remains on dischargeable debts, no suits or judgments can come after the Bankruptcy for pre-exiting dischargeable debts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/14/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Yes, unsecured debts can be turned into judgments. Judgments can lead to garnished wages and bank accounts as well as judgment liens.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    Yes, your unsecured debts can turn into lawsuits against you, which can then turn into judgments recorded against you. Judgments allow the creditor to collect from you for up to 10 (ten) years and they carry a 10% interest rate, so the balances will continue to grow. Once a creditor has obtained a judgment against you, they can garnish your wages, restrain your bank account and place a lien against property you own. Bankruptcy would wipe out the unsecured debt, including judgments that resulted from them. That is your incentive to file. Of course, if you don't work, don't own anything and have no money in your bank account or any funds in your bank account come from fixed income, you may be judgment proof. Nevertheless, even if you are judgment proof you still may want to file if you intend on owning anything or having wages in the future, b/c again, judgments will last for 10 years and so they just won't go away on their own.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    Yes. But they can then be discharged in your bankruptcy filing.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    You can discharge both unsecured debts, both non-jmt and jmt if you file
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Breckenridge and Walton
    Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
    Once you file a bankruptcy, there are court orders prohibiting all actions to collect the unsecured debts.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    The incentive is that the the judgments will get discharge or may not even be entered. If a judgment gets entered, a creditor may collect the judgment by garnishing wages or placing liens on any real property you own. You can avoid this by filing a chapter 7 if you qualify. Talk to a lawyer and get a free consult before you decide.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    Your unsecured creditors will sue you if they are not paid. Then they will get judgments and use the judgments to put liens on your property, garnish you wages, or garnish your bank accounts. A bankruptcy filing can put a stop to that.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
    If someone sues and wins against you in a lawsuit for an unsecured debt, the debt becomes a secured debt. Whether that debt attaches to anything depends on what you own. A debt secured by a judgment opens up a lot of ways for creditors to collect the judgment, such as wage garnishment, and liens on real property. Unsecured debts are discharged in bankruptcy. Once they become a judgment, they still might be dischargeable, but the problem is how the credit reporting agencies report it. Bad credit stays on the credit report for 8 years. A chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years. A judgment stays on for 10 years and is renewable for another 10 years for a total of 20 years. So which is worse?
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    No. Not after filing. Bankruptcy is great protection. If there is a judgment before you file you still won't have to pay it.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Yes unsecured debts can be turned into judgments against you. Bankruptcy will erase these debts even if they have already become judgments.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Bankruptcy can stop judgments and debts not reduced to judgment from resulting in garnishment, seizure of assets and so on.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Scott Leslie Taylor Attorney at Law
    Scott Leslie Taylor Attorney at Law | Scott Leslie Taylor
    If the unsecured debt is eligible for bankruptcy disharge, then it will still be discharged whether it was converted into a judgment or not.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Lenders can sue you on unsecured debt. Once they win a judgment, it is a lien on all your assets. Additionally, it lets them seize your bank accounts and wages. Your bankruptcy will be more difficult and costly once there are judgments. You should see a lawyer now to analyze your situation and determine if and when you should file. Making that decision without a lawyer is likely to be an expensive mistake.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Hines Law Offices
    Hines Law Offices | Holly H. Hines
    Yes, your unsecured creditors may get judgments from a court of law against you. Therefore, it is wise to consider your options such as a bankruptcy filing.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Deciding whether or not to file bankruptcy depends on many factors. If unsecured debt is owed you can be sued. However, even judgments can be discharged in bankruptcy. The facts of the case are important to determine whether to file a chapter 7, a chapter 13 or no bankruptcy at all. Check with a qualified bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Unsecured debts can and often are turned into lawsuits/judgments against you. The incentive for filing is that the only way you will stop those lawsuits from being initiated or turned into judgments is filing bankruptcy.Otherwise, the debts will not be discharged and they'll make your life miserable.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Yes they can. That's why you file BK: to avoid them from turning to lawsuits and judgments.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    If you qualify for and file a chapter 7 bankruptcy, and obtain a discharge of your debts, your unsecured creditors can no longer sue you, or obtain judgments against you. That is the main reason many people file for chapter 7, to stop their creditors from harassing them, and also to prevent their creditors from suing them and obtaining judgments against them. In fact, even if they have already sued you and obtained judgments, it is still possible to file bankruptcy and discharge their debts, assuming their debts are not declared to be non-dischargeable for some reason, such as fraud. It's generally better to file the bankruptcy prior to your creditors suing you and obtaining judgments. Thank you,
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    Judgments attach to your real property. Thus if a credit card company gets a judgment of $20,000 on you, and you sell your house with $20,000 of equity, the credit card company will get their $20,000, and not you. This will not defeat the homestead exemption, but it must still be taken very seriously.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    Yes, your unsecured debtors may sue you, however if you file bankruptcy, these debts would most likely be discharged and you would not owe the debt.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Dan Shay Law
    Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
    Yes, a credit card company can sue for breach of contract and obtain a judgment which could act as a lien on real property. Once they have the judgment, they can garnish and levy too. Filing Bankruptcy will kill the lawsuit and everything else.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/13/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    You should review your circumstances with a bankruptcy lawyer to see what is at risk. Yes it is possible to turn the debts into judgements and even they can be written off and create tax liabilities for you that are typically unable to be discharged in a bankruptcy. Some types of bankruptcy will help you to establish credit faster than if you do not file.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/13/2011
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