Avoiding liens can be an important part of the bankruptcy “fresh start.” There is a variety of methods of lien avoidance in bankruptcy cases. We will here discuss lien avoidance under two code sections, Section 506(d) and 522(h). Under Section 506(d), liens securing disallowed claims are not valid. There are some exceptions to this rule, however.
As part of his or her “fresh start” in bankruptcy, it is possible for a debtor to avoid liens on property securing dischargeable debts. If this is not done, the liens may pass through the bankruptcy and impair the debtor’s ability to move forward. Section 522(f) of the Bankruptcy Code is one of the principal ways that such liens may be avoided. This section of the code has four paragraphs.
Taken together, the section states how a debtor may avoid judicial liens against his or her exempt property to the extent that the lien impairs the debtor’s exemption. It should be noted here that we are speaking in this article only of Section 522(f). Liens may also be avoided by a debtor using other sections of the Bankruptcy Code, such as Sections 506(d) and 522(h). Knowing which section to use will depend on various factors, such as the nature of the lien, the type of bankruptcy filed, and the specific issues of the case.