Will a lien be put on my home because of debt? 3 Answers as of August 04, 2010

I was a few months behind on payments to a store and they gave the debt of almost 5 thousand dollars to a collection agency. They are saying that they're going to sue me and put a lien on my house if I don't pay soon. Is that legal? If I file for bankruptcy will I lose my house?

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David Nelson
David Nelson | David Nelson
The creditor would have to sue your first, win a judgment in the Small Claims or Superior Court and then record the judgment against your real estate with the County Recorder's Office for the county that you live in.

It takes usually between 1 and 2 months to get the judgment against you. If you owe the debt, you do nothing and let it default, because if you owe the money, then you have no defense so why spend the $300 on the filing fee to file an answer? That's throwing good money after bad.

Once they have a judgment they will have to wait 30 days after that to record it against your home, garnish your wages or levy your bank accounts.

If you file at any time prior to the judgment being recorded with the County Recorder's Office, then the bankruptcy stops it from happening. But even if they put a judgment lien on the house, in most cases, we can get it taken off of the house again as part of the bankruptcy. It is an extra service and does cost extra, so in most cases, I recommend that you file before that happens if you can. Besides, once they are putting judgment liens on your home, they are also emptying your bank account and garnishing your wages. But thankfully the bankruptcy stops all that too.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/4/2010
Fasel, Fasel, & Nefulda, LLP
Fasel, Fasel, & Nefulda, LLP | Thomas Fasel
In many instances it is possible to retain your house in Bankruptcy, while at the same time discharging other debts. To discuss further, please contact me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/30/2010
Diefer Law Group, P.C.
Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
Unfortunately it is possible that you may lose your house. For more information please contact me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/30/2010
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