In re Smith (05-60736)

Debtors filed motion to avoid judicial lien under 11 U.S.C. § 522(f)(1), which attached to Debtors’ real property. The judicial lien creditor objected to avoidance of her lien. The real property of Debtors was encumbered by the following liens, in order of stipulated priority: (1) a first mortgage in the scheduled amount of $35,000.00; (2) the judicial lien in the scheduled amount of $27,394.36; and (3) a second mortgage in the scheduled amount of $155,521.85. The claimed current market value of Debtors’ interest in the property without deductions for secured claims or exemptions was $187,455.00. Debtors had claimed no exemption in their real property by the time this opinion was issued. The Court assumes that Debtors reasoned no exemption should be claimed being as there was no equity in the property.

Literally applying the arithmetic formula set forth in 11 U.S.C. § 522(f)(2)(A), the Court concluded that the judicial lien in question would in fact impair an exemption claimed by Debtors if an exemption should be claimed in the future and allowed. As such, should said exemption be claimed, then the judicial lien shall be avoided in its entirety in accordance with 11 U.S.C. § 522(f)(1). Further, should an exemption be claimed and the judicial lien avoided, then the priority position of the judicial lien shall be preserved for the benefit of Debtors’ exemption in accordance with 11 U.S.C. § 522(i).

Tuesday, May 16, 2006