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Terry L.
Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2870
Experience:  Better Business Bureau. 18yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar Assoc. American Bankruptcy Institute member.
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Hello, My question involves the state of Louisiana. I completed a Chapter 13 plan in May

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Hello,
My question involves the state of Louisiana. I completed a Chapter 13 plan in May 2011. One of the creditors had placed a lien on my home before I filed. This creditor did NOT file a proof of claim so they were not paid anything. My attorney contacted the attorney for the creditor, who in turn, contacted the attorney who he says in charge of these older accounts but the "file could not be located." Neither attorney knows how to proceed to find out what I would have to do to get lien removed. I would think that they would want their money, but if the file is not located, what can I do to make this right?

Terry L. :

Hi, thanks for your question. You should hire a lawyer for specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created here.

Terry L. :

Did your attorney bring a motion to avoid the judgment lien during the case?

Terry L. :

Liens don't come off of a property just by filing the case.

Terry L. :

If there was no equity to attach to (factoring in your exemption) then the attorney could have brought a motion to strip off the lien during the case, effective upon discharge. Your best bet is a motion to reopen the case, file and hear that motion.

Terry L. :

Tricky since, the creditor could object, since their lien remains (although the debt would be discharged since they didn't file a proof of claim). You would otherwise have to pay the lien off to clear title. Bankruptcy filing alone doesn't strip that lien.

Terry L. :

Your best bet is to reopen the case ($260 court fee) and have your lawyer bring the motion to avoid the lien, it's the best shot you have unless the creditor is willing to take the lien off voluntarily because of the bankruptcy.

Customer: She did make a request to remove the lien but was told the file could not be located. That is when she told me that she has no idea how to proceed. I emailed and asked her for suggestion of what I could do on my own but she no longer responds.
Terry L. :

The best suggestion is to bring a motion to reopen the case. It will cost $260 to do so, then bring the motion to avoid the judgment lien. Absent that, there is no guarantee to release the lien.

Terry L. :

Maybe if you can pull a copy of the recorded judgment, and send that along with a copy of the chapter 13 plan, the schedule showing the debt, and the discharge, maybe the attorney will release the lien.

Terry L. :

Longshot and free to do #2.

Terry L. :

Other than that, you'd have to pay the judgment to release the lien, even though the debt was discharged in bankruptcy.

Terry L. :

Best of luck to you, let me know if you have any other bankruptcy questions.

Terry L. and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you