Can a deficiency judgment be enforced against legal residentsof another country?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a deficiency judgment be enforced against legal residentsof another country?

I no longer live out of the US, but still have a house in VA. When we left VA we rented the property in the hope that house values would rise again. Due to the property “crash”, the value is now less than the mortgage. We may be forced to let the bank foreclose, as it will cost a considerable amount of money to sell. However, we are now worried about a deficiency judgement being made if the property is foreclosed. Could out pay still be garnished even if we now live out-of-the country? 

Asked on March 3, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

While the law varies from country-to-country, the general rule is that yes a judgment can be enforced against residents of another nation.  A foreign creditor can force payment.  In this case, what your creditor will need to do is to first obtain a valid judgment in the US (in the appropriate state) and then "domesticate" it (i.e. have it turned into a valid judgment) in the country in question.  Also, they could potentially bring suit in the other country (if proper jurisdiction can be established). At that point, they will be entitled to the legal remedies allowed in your country of legal residence (garnishment possibly among them).

However depending on the amount of the debt owed, while a creditor may threaten to bring legal action against you, the fact is that enforcing a foreign judgment costs money and it may well not be worth it for them to to pursue the claim.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption