Judgments can seriously impact our lives in many ways for which we are not prepared. These legal rulings which obligated us to the debts have now been discharged through our bankruptcy, yet they can remain on your credit report and on the judgment rolls of the state court system. Why is this? The answer is that bankruptcy is a federal court proceeding, and judgments are almost always obtained in state court. The existence of the two different court systems means that while the federal bankruptcy court order discharges a debtor’s debts, it does not automatically remove the state court judgment that was entered prior to the bankruptcy case filing. And bankruptcy debtors shouldn’t count on creditors to notify the state court of the bankruptcy discharge and ask that the judgment be removed. There are a number of ways we can clear these matters up and in order to decide which is the best course of action for your specific situation we advise consulting with an experienced professional. Our team of courteous MN Bankruptcy Lawyers would be happy to assist you further but first let’s go over what this process is likely to involve.
Judgments which remain on record with the court are public information and can be used by a number of different parties for making determinations regarding such things as creditworthiness, security clearance, and eligibility for various programs, subsidies or employment which is why it is so important this information is documented correctly following your bankruptcy. There are only three ways in which a judgment can be made to go away: paying the debt, vacating the judgment or discharging the debt through bankruptcy. Since you have gone through the process of filing bankruptcy and met your terms of the arrangement it is only fair to you this be reported as such with the courts and credit reporting agencies. Your creditors have likely been notified of your bankruptcy discharge but there are little resources available for assuring this gets reported back correctly or in a timely manner on the part of the creditor. We are here to ensure you receive the attention your situation demands and to see to it you are treated fairly by the courts and your creditors.
A good starting point for reestablishing your credit and removing old judgments which were included with your bankruptcy would be to obtain a current copy of your credit report after your bankruptcy has been discharged. This should list the judgments on file as well as which state, county and district the judgments are with. You will also need to locate contact information for the county or district that the judgments with so that you may properly inform them of your bankruptcy discharge. Doing this also shows initiative on your part and demonstrates that you are genuinely concerned with your finances and legal obligations.
In order to resolve your post-bankruptcy judgments you must provide the court in which the judgment is held proof that the judgment was a dischargeable debt under your bankruptcy and listed in it, the bankruptcy case has been discharged and that the judgment creditor did not successfully object to the judgment debt’s discharge. If all of this is true, then send the required proof along with contact information for yourself to both the courts and the initial creditor which entered the judgment against you.
The purpose of notifying your creditors in addition to the courts is to eliminate your creditor’s ability to claim they were unaware of your bankruptcy discharge. If there is a judgment docketed against a non-exempt asset, the judgment will not be removed, and you will have to work out a different arrangement, usually involving payment of a portion of the judgment, to have the judgment satisfied by the judgment creditor. In instances where the judgment is secured with property or assets it is best you consult a knowledgeable MN Bankruptcy Lawyer before proceeding.
If the debt is unsecured and allowable to be discharged under the terms of your bankruptcy your creditor should have no issue in reporting the debt properly as being discharged under your bankruptcy. Some creditors will respond accordingly and allow the judgment to be closed as discharged under your bankruptcy while others will choose not to respond and leave the matters to the courts. Because of this it is very helpful to have a trained MN Bankruptcy Lawyer in your corner protecting your rights.
Although the judgment will remain on your credit report as being discharged in bankruptcy this does not mean you haven’t significantly improved your credit by seeing to it that it is reported properly. Judgments which have been satisfied through bankruptcy are much easier to explain to future lenders or employers than outstanding debts left unaddressed for a number of years. Your credit score is based on the size of your debts, the length of time the account has been open and your payment history. By simply closing out these old debts and having them reflect correctly on your credit report you can greatly improve your credit and begin to rebuild your finances.
Old outstanding judgments are one of the most difficult aspects to address with a bankruptcy and because it requires dealing with a number of involved parties it is advised you seek the help of an experienced professional. Our helpful and friendly staff is available to address any of your questions and concerns regarding your specific needs. Do not hesitate; contact one of our numerous Minnesota locations near you today so that we may help.
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