Thank you for your question.
My handy-dandy calculator puts the equity
of the house as $23,500.00, so it's all exempt from any requirement to surrender in the BK case. Exempt from execution should also be the case.
The exemption is not changed by the dollar value of the lien. The lien will also be subordinate to any other lien(s) recorded before it was recorded.
You say the lien is from an automobile debt? That normally happens only one of two ways:
1. You consented to that lien in the loan documents when buying the car on credit; or
2. You defaulted on the loan, got sued on the debt, and now the debt has been converted to a judgment which was then recorded as an encumbrance on all the real estate you own in that county (for most of us, the home is the one and only).
If the debt related to the lien was incurred after filing BK, the prior BK is totally irrelevant.
If the debt was pre-petition
(sounds like it was since you're talking about re-opening the case), then the lien should not have been recorded post-petition.
If the debt was discharged, then there is most likely a violation of the automatic stay
and/or the permanent injunction. Bad news for the lender.
The $40K exemption does NOT protect the home from foreclosure from any debt that was part of buying the home.
Not sure what the point would be in re-opening the BK case, as liens cannot be "stripped" in Chapter 7
. If there was a violation of the automatic stay/permanent injunction, then it would make sense, to void the lien and ask for as hefty a package of sanctions (which sometimes includes $$$) as the judge will allow.
A definitive answer will require professional review of the BK petition, the contract
for the car loan, and the lien document itself. That's just not practical here.
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