Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
Unless the original dispute concerned the plaintiff's right to a secured interest in property, or the award is one for a constructive or resulting trust, or equitable lien, then the plaintiff never becomes a "secured" creditor.
What the creditor gets is a lien against the debtor's real property in the jurisdiction where the judgment is filed.
But, that's not the same as being a secured creditor. An ordinary judgment (i.e., a money judgment) does not give a creditor a secured interest in the debtor's property. It merely gives the right to execute against the debtor's assets and wages so as to obtain satisfaction for the judgment and amount awarded.
Only where the court finds that the debtor has taken specific property of the creditor, does the creditor obtain the right to have the court order the property itself returned.
Note: if you're even more confused now than when you started, feel free to ask for clarification.
It largely depends on the type of dispute. Judgments that are the product of a defendant's intentional, fraudulent or wanton and reckless action can be refused a discharge by the bankruptcy court.
Judgments for ordinary debts, i.e., breach of contract, loan defaut (other than student loans), ordinary negligence, etc., will be discharged in a Chapter 7 (liquidation) action.
The general list of exceptions to a discharge are found in Title 11 USC 523.
Re the question of when precisely is the lien created, can you be more specific about the facts?
You would stand in the same position as any other ordinary unsecured creditor. Each unsecured creditor is entitled to a portion of any assets remaining after all of the higher priority claims are paid.
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