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In re Silveira

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
141 F.3d 34 (1998)


Thomas Silveira (plaintiff) filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. He listed his primary residence, stipulated to have a fair market value of $157,000, as an asset. In accordance with 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(1), Silveira claimed a $15,000 exemption in the property. The residence was subject to a mortgage of $117,680 and to a judicial lien held by East Cambridge Savings Bank (the Bank) (defendant) in the amount of $209,500. Pursuant to § 522(f)(1) and (f)(2), Silveira sought to avoid the Bank’s $209,500 lien in its entirety. The bankruptcy court granted Silveira’s motion. The district court affirmed, concluding that § 522(f)(1) and (f)(2) entitled Silveira to avoid the judicial lien in full in order to effectuate Chapter 7’s purpose of providing the debtor with a “fresh start.” The Bank appealed.

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