If it has been 6 years after a default judgement can I re-file or file for bankruptcy? 19 Answers as of October 29, 2013

A plaintiff received a default judgment against me and my business for $100k. It has been 7 years and seen then he has levied bank accounts, tax returns and has filed a lien against my home. Since it has been 7 years, can they re-file and if so, should I file for bankruptcy? Or can they not pursue this case?

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Law Office of Shawn N. Wright | Shawn N. Wright
I'm not sure from the question whether or not you have previously filed for bankruptcy. The law, by the way, for filing new bankruptcy cases is that if you previously filed a Chapter 7 case, then you can file a new Chapter 7 case 8 years from the date of filing the first case. For Chapter 13 cases, it's 4 years from the date of the previously-discharged Chapter 7 case. But your question also pertains to whether you can discharge (wipe out) a default judgment that was filed 6 years ago. Yes, absolutely, you have the right to file and wipe out that judgment. You should contact a bankruptcy attorney right away to look into this.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 10/29/2013
Law Office of William Stoddard | William Stoddard
In the state of Washington judgments are good for 10 years. The only way to end this situation is consider filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you would lose assets in such a filing, then I can only suggest what you have done so far to avoid him getting anything fore until the judgment extinguishes.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 10/24/2013
CoverLaw
CoverLaw | Jim Cover
Recorded judgments are generally valid for 10years and can be renewed - whether bankruptcy will help you depends on a number of things not in your fact pattern including equity in the home that has the lien, recording dates, exemptions etc
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/24/2013
Tokarska Law Center
Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
A judgment is good for 10 years in California and can be renewed unlimited number of times as long as it is renewed before the 10 years is over. Whether filing bankruptcy makes sense and will produce a good outcome depends on your particular situation. The purpose of a consultation with an attorney is to determine if filing bankruptcy makes sense. The attorney will ask you to disclose some specific personal information such as the types and values of your assets, income, living expenses, and the types and amount of debts. They'll need to calculate your "current monthly income" (which has a particular formula and meaning in bankruptcy) to determine if you qualify for a discharge under chapter 7 and if not to calculate a possible chapter 13 scenario. They'll look at your assets to determine if all of them are exempt so that the bankruptcy doesn't result in loss of non-exempt assets. This will help you decide what is the best course of action. Caveat: Answers to questions online cannot replace actual legal advice or being represented by a lawyer in your case. There may be other undisclosed facts that could impact your results. A legal consultation with an attorney would involve disclosing quite a few other things about your financial activities and situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/24/2013
Stuart P Gelberg
Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
Judgments r good for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/24/2013
    Law Offices of David A. Tilem | Michael Avanesian
    The judgment is good for 10 years. Then before it expires, they need to renew the judgment for 10 more years. Is bankruptcy good for you? It really depends on your assets, liabilities, cash flow, etc. You should come in and obtain a consultation. We don't even know what you do, what kind of businesses you have, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    In Nevada a judgment is valid for 6 years. It can be renewed for an additional six years as long as renewal is sought before the first 6 years ends.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    It depends on the reason for the judgment, they may just be able to renew it and keep trying to collect. I would have filed bankruptcy a long time ago, assuming you are eligible and the debt is dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    If you have a judgment on your home, that will stay attached until you pay it off or file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    In California, a judgment is good for 10 years and can be renewed more than once for an additional 10 years in each renewal. Bankruptcy will be the only way to discharge the debt. As far as the lien is concerned, it can be removed if it impairs your exemption on your property. You should see an attorney to discuss the issues that you presented. This answer was provided as a public service to a question posed on the Law Q & A website. The answer is based on the information provided and is limited to those facts. Furthermore, the answer is based on California law and their application to bankruptcy law in California.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Judgments are like vampires and have eternal life as long as they continue to drink your blood. Renewing & reviving a judgment is as easy as paying $20 to record it with the county recorder's office. You may be able to eliminate this debt through bankruptcy unless it is somehow connected to a criminal offense, such as a drunk driving accident.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    Your question asks whether you can "re-file or file for bankruptcy", but the detail does not explain whether you previously filed for bankruptcy protection or not. In any event, your question requires consideration of a lot of facts. For example, is your business a self-proprietorship or in an entity? What is your business? What is the value of your business? What are your income and expenses? What are your business' income and expenses? Do you have other assets that may not be exempted? etc. The 7-year period you mention is not relevant to whether you can file for bankruptcy protection nor whether the judgment creditor may continue collecting. Between Chapter 7 cases, Chapter 7 debtors used to have to wait 7 years, but that period is now 8 years. You probably have the 7 year period in mind because that is the number of years for which a creditor may report an adverse event on your credit report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act; however, that period does not govern for how long a debt may be collected, etc. Also, that period is not relevant to the length of time a judgment may be collected as money judgments in California are not enforceable only for 7 years, but rather for 10 years and the judgment may then be renewed for another 10 years. However, you still may be able to get relief through, for example, a Chapter 13 case, for which you have to wait only 6 years after a Chapter 7 case. To learn about your options, you should consult a knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    They can renew their judgement. You can file BK, but that will not remove the lien on the house. It will stop the garnishments, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
    A judgment must be revived after 7 years, but can be enforced for at least 20. You need to sit down and review your financial situation with a bankruptcy attorney to determine if that is advisable.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    Charles R. Chesnutt, P.C.
    Charles R. Chesnutt, P.C. | Charles R. Chesnutt
    The limitations period for a judgment is 10 years. A judgment creditor cannot obtain a lien against a homestead in Texas, but if you move out prior to discharging the debt in bankruptcy, the lien can attach. You should consider a Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    You may file bankruptcy every 7 years. A judgment must be renewed every 6th year to be collectible.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    Law Office of Barry R. Levine | Barry R. Levine, Esq.
    Their judgment is good for twenty years. You have thirteen years to go. You need to do something.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    You do not state which State you live in. In most states, including California, a judgment is good for ten years. The seven years you are probably thinking of is credit bureau reporting. Further, it is possible to renew the judgment lien for another ten years. In a bankruptcy, it may be possible to have the lien removed from you home.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You need competent bankruptcy counsel. A ch13 is a possibility, or maybe even an 11.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2013
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