How would a judgement affect my filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy? 19 Answers as of May 27, 2013

I am getting the paper work together to file Chapter 7 but I have a summons to appear in court for a breach of contract suit. My attorney told not to let them get a judgment against me.

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Ray Fisher Law Offices
Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
From your question it is clear that you have an attorney. This is a question for your attorney.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/27/2013
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
If they are suing you for fraud, file the bankruptcy right away. If you own any real property, file before they get a judgement. If they know where you work or bank, file right away to avoid garnishment or a levy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2013
Portland Bankruptcy Law Group
Portland Bankruptcy Law Group | Christopher J. Kane
When you are served with a lawsuit, you have 30 days to respond to it (or 14 days if it is in small claims court). If you file bankruptcy before that 30-day (or 14-day) deadline is up, then you will prevent the creditor from getting a default judgment against you. If you don't file by the deadline and they get a judgment, when you file bankruptcy that will stop all collection activity and the judgment will no longer be enforceable.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/24/2013
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
You need to talk to your attorney.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 5/24/2013
Law Offices of David A. Tilem | Michael Avanesian
This depends on a lot of factors. It would be foolish for me to contradict an attorney that knows the facts a lot better than me. That being said, a judgment alone won't affect things much at all. Now if you have property, once they obtain a judgment, they can attach property or garnish wages etc. So sometimes it's beneficial to file before the actual judgment. At the same time, in some cases it is better for them to obtain a judgment first. That's a mistake most attorneys make, they think it's a one size fits all scheme and I've personally seen bad things happen when a judgment is delayed by bk. I hope this perspective helps.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/24/2013
    Michael B. McFarland, P.A. | Michael B. McFarland
    A judgment would not affect your eligibility to file Chapter 7. If it is a simple breach of contract action, it doesn't matter whether you file before or after the judgment. However, if there are claims of fraud, or other portions of the claim that might be non-dischargeable, you'll want to address those with your attorney. If there are questions about dischargeability, you probably shouldn't try filing on your own, but should use the services of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    Moffa & Bonacquisti, P.A.
    Moffa & Bonacquisti, P.A. | John A. Moffa
    There is not enough information to give you a good answer. Was this attorney a bankruptcy attorney?
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/24/2013
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    File the bankruptcy now and the state court action is stopped in it's tracks. Do you have a bankruptcy attorney? If not, you should consult with one.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    Havkin & Shrago | Stella Havkin
    Judgments are dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, if a judgment is obtained, the creditor can garnish your wages and lien your assets.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    If you own any real estate, a court judgment can be recorded and become a lien against your real property. While it may be possible to remove a judgment lien against real estate protected by the homestead laws, this is an expensive process. If a court judgment is entered against you and you don't own real estate, you may be pressured into filing bankruptcy sooner than you wish because the creditor can begin garnishing your paycheck and can seize money in your bank account. Other property may be vulnerable to being seized as well.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    If you have no house, then it has no affect. If you do, then your attorney may have to file an additional motion to avoid the lien which will cost you more money.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    Sanford M. Martin, P.A. | Sanford M. Martin
    By filing an answer to the complaint or filing whatever response delays the debt collection, you should have adequate time to file Chapter 7 before a judgment order is issued which usually take 2-6 months in Florida. Usually, creditors will not continue a legal case when they learn a Chapter 7 will be filed. Inform the creditor or debt collector of your filing, and they will not continue a process which costs them time and money with no collection. Even if a judgment should be issued, Chapter 7 will discharge the liability, however it's best to advise creditors of the Chapter 7 filing or intent to file.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    Jeffrey A. Cogan, Esq., Ltd.
    Jeffrey A. Cogan, Esq., Ltd. | Jeffrey A. Cogan
    The judgment does not matter if you file for bankruptcy before they collect anything. I would let your attorney go and get a refund of any money paid but not earned and prepare for the bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    SmithMarco, P.C.
    SmithMarco, P.C. | Larry P. Smith
    The judgment is just a perfected lien and they can get to assets before the bankruptcy is filed. So it is best to hold it off. Regardless, once the bankruptcy is filed, the judgment creditor likely won't be able to get anything anyway.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    Law Office of Barry R. Levine | Barry R. Levine, Esq.
    Listen to your attorney. S/he is correct. It matters not.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    A judgement imposes more work on your attorney (and therefore more cost to you) so your attorney is probably being careful to protect you from additional expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    Heineman Law Office
    Heineman Law Office | Jeff Heineman
    In the vast majority of cases, a breach of contract judgment will have no effect on your bankruptcy. However, if the lawsuit also seeks a judgment for fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, false financial representation, etc., then you should file your bankruptcy before a judgment is taken.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    I would recommend getting the Petition filed sooner rather than later, and if need be file a Bare Bones, and then amend within 10 days. The Judgment would not be a big problem, but filing first makes life easier.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/23/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    You can file an answer and let them know you are contemplating bankruptcy and that should delay the proceedings long enough for you to file.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 5/23/2013
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