There is no getting around the necessity of doing arithmetic in figuring out whether a judgment lien impairs an exemption.
If you do not wish to go to the trouble of doing the arithmetic yourself, you can use one the Lien Avoidance Calculators described below. Both Lien Avoidance Calculators are spreadsheets developed using Excel, Microsoft’s spreadsheet program. If you do not have a licence to use Excel, there is an alternative. At http://www.openoffice.org/ you can download for free a suite of office programs that includes a spreadsheet program.
Important points to remember:
• The spreadsheet works on the assumption, which may not be true in all cases, that if a debtor owns less than 100% of the property in question, the unavoidable liens are attached to the entire property and not just to the debtor’s interest or to the co-owner’s interest.
• It is critical that competing judicial liens be put in the order of their priority, with the oldest judicial lien having the first priority.
Click here to download Lien Avoidance Calculator No. 1. This spreadsheet was written by James Wright, a former law clerk for Judge James E. Massey (Retired). It is designed to deal with only one piece of property.
Click here to download Lien Avoidance Calculator No. 2. This spreadsheet was written by Jason Lee, also one of Judge Massey's former law clerks. This spreadsheet can deal with up to ten separate properties.