J is for judgments in the Bankruptcy Alphabet. What is a “judgment”? It’s simply when a court rules against you. More specifically, what I’m referring to is a money judgment.
I’m specifically focused on removing or preventing judgments from being entered against my clients. So, if a prospective client has retained me to file a bankruptcy case, then my goal is to file the bankruptcy petition as soon as possible to prevent the entry of a default judgment. Somewhat confusingly under Pennsylvania law, a civil complaint filed by, let’s say, a credit card company will often state that the hearing is scheduled for approximately 90 days from now. However, in small print, the cover sheet of the complaint, along with the second page, will also state that the defendant has 20 days to file a written response with the County Court of Common Pleas. Ah ha, if you forget to file a written answer, then the Court can issue a automatic default judgment against you. So, the judgment is entered, and that hearing scheduled in 90 days will be cancelled.
Immediately after filing a bankruptcy case, a good attorney will file a “Suggestion of Bankruptcy” in each and every pending court case. This puts creditors on notice that a bankruptcy petition has been filed, and that there can be no further activity in the Civil Court case without Bankruptcy Court approval. Basically, the bankruptcy filing will automatically trump activity in virtually any other court venue. There are a few exceptions, for example, certain Family Court cases and Criminal Court cases will continue unabated. But otherwise, virtually any Civil Court case will be automatically stopped.
Not all judgments are liens, which I will talk about later this week. A lien is a judgment that attaches to either real estate or personal property. In Bankruptcy Court, we are able to eliminate (“avoid”) certain judgment liens entirely.
If you have questions or comments, please let me know. Also, please download my free e-book on Western Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Law!
Here are some more entries from the Bankruptcy Alphabet
Joint Bankruptcy Filling from Southgate Michaigan Bankruptcy Attorney, Christopher McAvoy at http://downriverbankruptcy.com/joint-bankruptcy-filing/#axzz1ie0BQpr7
Joint Debts from Hawaii Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart T. Ing at http://www.bankruptcyhi.com/2011/12/j-is-for-joint-debts/
Joint Filling from Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe at http://marin-bankruptcy-law.com/360/bankruptcy-a-to-z-j-is-for-joint-filing/
Judgment from Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell at http://bankruptcyblog.caldwell-lawfirm.com/2011/11/12/bankruptcy-alphabet-j-is-for-judgment.aspx
Judgment Debtor from San Francisco Bankruptcy Attorney, Jeena Cho at http://www.jclawgroup.com/blog/bankruptcy-alphabet-j-is-for-judgement-debtor/
Judgment Liens from Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Attorney, Bob Doig at http://www.jclawgroup.com/blog/bankruptcy-alphabet-j-is-for-judgement-debtor/
Judgment Liens from Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Attorney, Chris Carr at http://christophercarrlaw.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/j-is-for-judgment-lien-and-its-effects-on-homeowners/
Judicial Lien from Cleveland Area Bankruptcy Attorney, Bill Balena at http://ohiobankruptcysource.com/j-for-judicial-lien/
Jurisdiction from Metro Richland Consumer and Bankruptcy Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein at http://www.morethanbankruptcy.com/bankruptcy-a-z-j-is-for-jurisdiction.html
Justice in Bankruptcy from Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, Mark J. Markus at http://www.bklaw.com/bankruptcy-blog/2012/01/bankruptcy-justice/
Justify from Northern California Bankruptcy Attorney, Cathy Moran at http://www.bankruptcysoapbox.com/bankruptcy-alphabet-j-for-justify/
Your Personal Finance Lawyer from New York Bankruptcy Attorney, Jay S. Fleischman at http://www.consumerhelpcentral.com/jay-fleischman-personal-finance-lawyer/
Jail from Wisconsin Bankruptcy Attorney, Bret Nason at http://nasonlawfirm.com/archives/770
Joint Bankruptcy from Livonia Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney, Peter Behrmann at http://www.livoniamichiganbankruptcy.com/i-is-for-internal-revenue-service-irs-tax-debt-in-bankruptcy/
Judge from Southern California Bankruptcy Attorney Christine A. Wilton at http://www.losangelesbankruptcylawmonitor.com/2012/06/articles/bankruptcy-law-overview/bankruptcy-alphabet/j-is-for-judge-julia-gibbons-bankruptcy-predictions-for-2013/
I like that "J is for Judgment". Let justice live!