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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 38802
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
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I have several judgments against me from credit card companies.

Resolved Question:

I have several judgments against me from credit card companies. Due to health issues I have no income and have sold off all my assets. I have several questions. 1. Can the creditors force me into court to prove my situation, or are they limited to just searching and ceasing assets? 2. If I come into some money in the future am I obligated to inform the creditors? 3. How long do judgments stay in affect?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

A1. Under bankruptcy law, the bankruptcy trustee can avoid any asset transfer that was done to "defraud, hinder or delay" a creditor's claim, if the transfer was made within 2 years of the date of bankrutpcy petition. A creditor can attempt to ascertain whether the assets were transferred with the intent to defraud as part of the standard 363 hearing. If the creditor thinks that the debtor is hiding assets, then the creditor can file a contested action and engage in discovery so as to acqiure more information, which could include health issues.


A2: If you "come into money in the future," and it was money that you "sold" prior to filing bankruptcy, then that would be a fraud, and probably would cause the court to dismiss your entire bankruptcy filing, if it were discovered. It could also cause a criminal prosecution for perjury to the bankruptcy court. So, when you ask whether or not you're obligated -- you're obligated to disclose all of your assets at the time of filing, if you don't, then you could be held civilly and crimnally liable later.


A3: A final bankruptcy judgment discharging the debtor lasts forever. An ordinary creditor judgment expiration is based on the law of the State jurisdiction, where the judgment is obtained. Generally 10 years, with a 10 year renewal. But, there are exceptions (e.g., Ohio: 5 years, renewable indefinitely).




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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I will not be filing a bankruptcy because I have nothing left to protect or money to pay the fees. I was hoping you could tell me what the creditors could legally do outside of bankruptcy to collect their debt other than the calls and letters.I was told that they go to court get a judgment, then they can force me to appear in court periodically in order to prove my financial situation hasn't changed.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

Under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, a creditor can accomplish the identical thing that the bankruptcy trustee can accomplish, except that a creditor can go back four years, rather than only two.


Also, a creditor can force you to attend a judgment debtor examination, and the scope of examination is extremely wide. You can be asked questions about almost anything, if it will asset in the location of your assets.


So, bankruptcy or not, if you have hidden assets, then they may be found. I'm not saying that they will be found -- only that the creditor is given extremely wide lattitude in tryig to locate assets.