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Brent Blanchard
Brent Blanchard, Bankruptcy Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 1975
Experience:  Twelve years experience in all aspects of debtor & creditor BK.
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how do I file a motion to remove a judgement after I have fi

Resolved Question:

how do I file a motion to remove a judgement after I have filed for ch. 7 bankruptcy. A lawyer wants $750 for each judgement but I feel like I can do it myself. They are just for credit cards, all unsecured.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 8 years ago.
Where are you at in the Chapter 7?


Case closed after discharge?

How many judgments?

Were notices of the BK filing filed in the judgment cases?

Was every judgment listed in the Ch 7 schedules?

Why do you want the judgments "removed"?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Im waiting to file now. The reason I asked the question is that I want to wait as long as possible before filing so I can put more distance between myself and cash advances. At this moment they are 120 days old. The attorney is against waiting because he said that I will start building up these judgements and if I wait until after filing it will cost me $750 for each motion to remove each judgement. He said they will be on my credit for 20 years regardless so if I want them off I have to file individually. Sorry but my question is a hypothetical.
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 8 years ago.
Boy, things *are* different in New Jersey.

Some of my BK clients report getting new credit card offers starting only a few months after discharge. After discharge, creditors see someone who has a much better debt-to-income ratio than before. That *can* help a credit score despite the BK showing up.

After discharge, creditors will also start looking at whether the debtor still has late payments and excessive number of accounts and any accounts in default. No lates and not getting 15 different credit accounts *can* also help a credit score despite the BK showing up there.

Plus there is the general creditworthiness principle that current responsible financial conduct carries more weight than older derogatory entries.

I'm curious as to why an old judgment, which has been discharged in BK, would cause any more credit damage than the BK itself. As a practical matter, creditors LIKE to see that the old judgment is either too old to be enforced (they can find out if judgments have been renewed), or has been discharged in BK, because that means the judgment no longer can have any effect on the debtor's ability to repay.

Also consider what the realistic credit application future is. If there are no plans to borrow money (pay cash or at least half-down on any car(s), not buying a new/different house, etc.), then there really is no reason other than "being prepared" to worry about derogatory entries on a credit report. It just won't cause any financial harm.

All this is different if the judgments include punitive damages (per se evidence of non-dischargeable intentional injury to another) or enough findings of fact to be conclusive evidence in the BK proceedings that the debts arose from fraudulent or otherwise non-dischargable circumstances. Even then, making a motion to "remove" the judgment would not make sense, because the BK court would not even have a basis to make any order to remove the relevant judgment.

There is also a bit of a problem with preparing and filing your own motions regarding old judgments if you are still represented by an attorney. It's not allowed (unless it's your motion to fire the attorney). An attorney is likely to not cooperate with an effort to write your own court pleadings, and then would be duty-bound to review the paperwork to make sure it's not deficient (=more fees, it's beyond the scope of the fee for the BK).

If you must file the motions and can sufficiently educate yourself on how to do it correctly, there is also the option of firing your attorney the day after discharge but before the case is closed, so you can submit the motions yourself.

Thank you.

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