Can a judge issue an open-ended monetary judgement against me?

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Can a judge issue an open-ended monetary judgement against me?

My ex and I own a piece of vacant land that was awarded to me (with the debt) in divorce. I have been unable to make the payments ($2k/month) and am considering bankruptcy. The judge gave my ex a judgement saying that I will owe her anything that she pays towards the land debt until it is sold or otherwise disposed of. This means that my judgement will grow and grow and gives her no incentive to work with me to get rid of land via short-sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Can the judge do this?

Asked on August 24, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, New Mexico

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I would have to agree with you that it does not sound correct as you have portrayed it here.  Are you sure that it is a money judgement per se or is it a determination of a right?  The exact amount could not be determined at this time so it is not a judgement that can be entered.  And true, it does not give her incentive to work with you to deal with the land on the surface but she can not anything really that would cause you to incur additional debt. That would be an issue to bring before a Judge as well.  Speak with someone about the way the judgement was worded or the proceedings and then speak with someone about your options for a short sale or selling the property to her or whatever you think will help get you out of this mess.  Good luck.


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