Judgment Liens Securing Support Awards
The substance of 522(f)(1)(A), qualifying the phrase "a judicial lien" was added by the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994. As a result of this provision, a judicial lien securing a support obligation may never be avoided under 522(f)(1)(A). As discussed above, courts tend to interpret the term "support" quite broadly.
However, the bankruptcy court is required to look behind a label placed on an obligation to determine the true nature of the debt based on the intent of the parties at the time the obligation was created.
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TWO KINDS OF BANKRUPTCIES -- Individuals filing for bankruptcy choose one of two types, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7, the so-called "straight bankruptcy," eliminates all dischargeable debt and stays on the debtor's credit report for 10 years, but the debtor emerges from the bankruptcy with a clean slate. Chapter 13 restructures debt so that the debtor takes a longer time to repay but he or she keeps some property, and it remains on the debtor's credit report for seven years.
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