Plantation Lawsuit Judgment Lawyer
Lawsuits and money judgments can hit you when you least expect them, and nobody has money in their monthly budget to deal with a judgment levied against them. Having to pay a judgment can force you to take out a loan or charge living expenses to your credit cards to free up cash to pay the judgment, and your debts can spiral out of control because of the judgment. See below to learn how bankruptcy can help you deal with money judgments while you work to get a fresh start with your finances. For immediate assistance, contact Nowack & Olson at 888-813-4737 for a free consultation with our Plantation bankruptcy lawyers.
Stop Judgments before they Start with the Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy
If you believe a lawsuit may be filed against you because of a debt you owe, or even if you are in the middle of a lawsuit already, filing for bankruptcy can bring that lawsuit to a halt or stop one from being filed. The automatic stay provision of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 puts the brakes on any collection activity as soon as you file for bankruptcy. This includes lawsuits and attempts to collect on money judgments.
Bear in mind that sometimes a creditor can go to court and get the stay lifted, which could allow them to proceed with a lawsuit or collect a judgment. If a lawsuit has been filed against you, don’t ignore it thinking that bankruptcy will make it go away. If you ignore a lawsuit, you could wind up with a default judgment being entered against you, and if the creditor secures the judgment, you could end up stuck with it.
Discharge the Debt, Discharge the Judgment
Even if you do have a judgment entered against you, bankruptcy can still offer some protection. First of all, the judgment creditor cannot take action to collect on the judgment while the automatic stay is in place. Secondly, if the subject of the lawsuit was a dischargeable debt, then the judgment itself may be discharged in bankruptcy. For instance, if a credit card company or hospital sues you for an unpaid bill and gets a judgment against you, that judgment may be dischargeable in Chapter 7.
Timing is everything when it comes to discharging a judgment in bankruptcy. Creditors can take actions to secure their judgments by filing a lien on your property. If this has been done, it is more difficult to get the lien removed in bankruptcy. This is one of many reasons why waiting too long to file for bankruptcy can work to your detriment. Talk to an experienced Plantation bankruptcy lawyer sooner rather than later to determine the best time to file bankruptcy in your unique situation.
I Received a Money Judgment. Can I protect it from Seizure in Bankruptcy?
Rather than owing a judgment, what if you are the recipient of a judgment, such as from a personal injury lawsuit? Will you be able to keep those proceeds safe from the bankruptcy trustee? The Florida bankruptcy exemptions allow you to exempt up to $1,000 in personal property (or up to $8,000 in some circumstances), and you can use this exemption to protect a portion of your judgment proceeds. Talk to your bankruptcy lawyer about what exemptions and other strategies are available to you to protect your assets when you file for bankruptcy.
Help is Available with Money Judgments from Our Experienced Plantation Bankruptcy Lawyers
To make a fresh start with your finances, even if you have civil money judgments hanging over your head, call the Plantation bankruptcy lawyers at Nowack & Olson at 888-813-4737 for a free consultation.