Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Pennsylvania

Ex-fiance sued me for $13,000 after I broke off engagement.

Court placed lien on my property.

Tried to refinance for a much lower interest rate but bank says he has to sign off to subordinate the lien.

Is there any way around this?

Would bankruptcy help?

Asked on 6/14/13, 9:51 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

You do not indicate what happened in the litigation that resulted in a judgment against you. There are no causes of action for breach of promise to marry any more in PA so either the ex-fiance sued for something else or you did not defend the litigation. And courts do not place liens on property. Once entered, the judgment automatically becomes a lien on any real property that you own.

Yes, you can probably get the debt discharged in bankruptcy if its a debt for money owed. Is this really what you want to do? If you did not defend the litigation, why not? When was the judgment entered? Do you have any potential valid defenses and could the judgment be opened now?

The fiance is probably not going to subordinate his lien. Do you have any equity in the property or do you have other resources to pay him either in full or by way of settlement if he will accept?

If I were you, I might pay a litigation lawyer to take a look at the file and see whether there are any options for opening or resolving the judgment. If all else fails, then go see a bankruptcy attorney. Judgments can usually be discharged in bankruptcy but only to the extent that they impair your exemptions. You do not provide any information about your income/assets so its not clear whether you would qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy and whether the judgment can be voided. However, you are not going to be able to refi with a bankruptcy on your credit either at least for 2 years. And it may cost several thousand to file bankruptcy with the filing fee, attorney fees and miscellaneous fees.

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Answered on 6/14/13, 9:40 pm

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