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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    5

    Default Judgement Resulting in Property Seizure

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Tennessee

    My mother and step-father own a property together. My mom was sued years back and judgement was made against her and only her for $900,000. The only asset she has is her half of the home. Years later they got a judgment against my step-father basically because they ignored the lawsuit for $100,000.

    The house is set be sold on March 26th. They are older and I'm trying to figure out a way to keep them in the house.

    The only thing I have come up with is my step-father quit claiming the house to me and us paying off the judgement to him for a $100,000 this would still be cheaper than buying a new home. Hopefully then they could live there until they both passed on and I could 50 percent of the house when it sold to recoup some of the money.

    Besides the House they do not share any assets. Also my Mom could file bankruptcy she has nothing I don't know if that would keep her in the home.

    Basically these judgments were escalated due to their poor choices and I'm wondering if a lawyer could actually do anything in this situation. They are 75 and I'm just trying to keep hem in a home.

    Any helpful feedback would be appreciative on what type of lawyer would be best suited to handle this or any other possible choices.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,612

    Default Re: Judgement Resulting in Property Seizure

    Sorry, not going to work.

    Unfortunately, TN has a very low homestead exemption, under $20,000, so quitclaiming the home to beat the judgments would be a fraudulent conveyance and could be undone by the court.

    Paying off the $100,000 releases one debt but still leaves the $900,000 debt (is that right? 5 zeros?) and the equity in the home would have to be used to pay that down before your mother could file bankruptcy.

    The kind of lawyer your parents need to see is a bankruptcy lawyer to see if there is any hope at all of keeping the house.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2,062

    Default Re: Judgement Resulting in Property Seizure

    Quote Quoting JohnNash
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    My mother and step-father own a property together.
    I assume you're talking about a piece of real property (i.e., real estate).


    Quote Quoting JohnNash
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    My mom was sued years back and judgement was made against her and only her for $900,000.
    How many "years back"?


    Quote Quoting JohnNash
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    Years later they got a judgment against my step-father basically because they ignored the lawsuit for $100,000.
    You've used the pronoun "they" twice in this sentence. I assume the second refers to your mother and stepfather ("they ignored the lawsuit"), but whom are you referring to the first time ("they got a judgment against my step-father")?


    Quote Quoting JohnNash
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    The house is set be sold on March 26th. They are older and I'm trying to figure out a way to keep them in the house.
    Set to be sold by whom?


    Quote Quoting JohnNash
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    Also my Mom could file bankruptcy she has nothing I don't know if that would keep her in the home.
    Assuming that the sale you mentioned is an involuntary sale in connection with one of the two judgments you mentioned, your mother filing bankruptcy would at least temporarily stop the sale.


    Quote Quoting JohnNash
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    Basically these judgments were escalated due to their poor choices and I'm wondering if a lawyer could actually do anything in this situation. They are 75 and I'm just trying to keep hem in a home.

    Any helpful feedback would be appreciative on what type of lawyer would be best suited to handle this or any other possible choices.
    Lawyers can do lots of things. I can't really tell you too much because it's not clear exactly what's happening. What I can tell you is that an involuntary sale of a judgment debtor's personal residence in connection with the enforcement of an ordinary civil money judgment typically requires a separate court order. At a minimum, a consultation with a local attorney to review the situation and provide advice would probably be a good idea.

    By the way, how much is the property worth (i.e., fair market value less the balance of any mortgage(s))?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    5

    Default Re: Judgement Resulting in Property Seizure

    1) Yes a House
    2) My mother was sued 8 years(she was he only one sued at that time). She didn't respond and pretended like the law suit didn't exist. She said she was never notified but I would take that with a grain of salt. The judgment in the end was for $900,000.
    3) When the people suing Mom realized she was broke and had nothing but her half of the house they went after my stepfather who up to that point new nothing about this. He has been battling cancer and I don't know exactly what happened but he didn't show up and they got a judgement of $100,000. They do not share any financial accounts(because of my moms behavior in the past). He could not be file bankruptcy because he actually has other assets but he couldn't pay anyway near her $900,000
    4) Set to be sold on the courthouse steps. I guess that would make the city or county.
    5) I think they did get another court order to take the property. I have just been recently brought into this and I'm pulling the details like teeth.
    6) The Property is worth $400,000 in a quick sale and paid off.

    Thank you for any perspective you can give.

    There was a foreclosure posted on 2/14 as sheriff sale to take place on 3/26.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2,062

    Default Re: Judgement Resulting in Property Seizure

    Quote Quoting JohnNash
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    2) My mother was sued 8 years(she was he only one sued at that time). She didn't respond and pretended like the law suit didn't exist. She said she was never notified but I would take that with a grain of salt. The judgment in the end was for $900,000.
    According to a quick google search, judgments in Tennessee are enforceable for ten years unless renewed.


    Quote Quoting JohnNash
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    3) When the people suing Mom realized she was broke and had nothing but her half of the house they went after my stepfather who up to that point new nothing about this. He has been battling cancer and I don't know exactly what happened but he didn't show up and they got a judgement of $100,000. They do not share any financial accounts(because of my moms behavior in the past). He could not be file bankruptcy because he actually has other assets but he couldn't pay anyway near her $900,000
    This is odd. The person(s)/entity(ies) who got the $900k judgment against your mother then sued your stepfather for the same debt but only got a $100k judgment? Is that right? I don't understand what you mean when you say that he "could not . . . file bankruptcy because he actually has other assets." A bankruptcy filing does not require that a person have no assets (and the reality is that no one has no assets). Also, if he does not have the ability to pay $900k, does he have the ability to pay the $100k judgment against him (or any significant percentage thereof)? Has he tried to negotiate something with the creditor?

    As for everything else, I think it would be unwise not to consult with (and probably retain) an attorney ASAP next week.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Judgement Resulting in Property Seizure

    My stepfather has about $500,000 in assets with the majority of it liquid. I have mentioned to him the idea of settling which he was not happy with. If my stepfather had gone to court nothing probably would but by not showing up it was a default judgment if I have the term right. That's why I thought he could pay it off and quit claim his half it too me(at that point he would have settled the lawsuit). Because if dies soon which may be likely we wouldn't want the home to pass to Mom. She can pass on the inheritance because that would bring sibling into the mix that would probably kick her out.

    It seems like bankruptcy is by far my Mom's best choice and I'm going o try hard to get her to call a lawyer about this coming week.

    Its horrible situation that they have gotten into and I appreciate your with some ideas. Thank You!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,983

    Default Re: Judgement Resulting in Property Seizure

    Quote Quoting JohnNash
    View Post
    My stepfather has about $500,000 in assets with the majority of it liquid. I have mentioned to him the idea of settling which he was not happy with. If my stepfather had gone to court nothing probably would but by not showing up it was a default judgment if I have the term right. That's why I thought he could pay it off and quit claim his half it too me(at that point he would have settled the lawsuit). Because if dies soon which may be likely we wouldn't want the home to pass to Mom. She can pass on the inheritance because that would bring sibling into the mix that would probably kick her out.

    It seems like bankruptcy is by far my Mom's best choice and I'm going o try hard to get her to call a lawyer about this coming week.

    Its horrible situation that they have gotten into and I appreciate your with some ideas. Thank You!
    Filing for bankruptcy would at least stall the sheriff's sale and give them some more time to figure out what to do. The default judgment against your stepfather might be able to be overturned if it was bogus.

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