UNITED STATES SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION v. SILVER CREEK CONSTRUCTION LLC et al
MEMORANDUM/ORDER that the clerk shall, to the extent still necessary, correct the Courts records to clarify that there is no personal money judgment against Mr. Choi filed in this action; to remove doubt, the Court declares that the operative final judgment in this action is one for foreclosure and associated relief entered on November 5, 2014 (ECF no. 22); denying 33 MOTION For entry of order canceling and discharging judgment of record by THOMAS CHOI. Signed by Judge Kevin McNulty on 1/5/17. (DD, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
UNITED STATES SMALL BUSINESS
ADMINISTRATION as Receiver for
Hanam Capital Corporation,
Civ. No. 13-6044
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
SILVER CREEK CONSTRUCTION CO.,
LLC, THOMAS CHOI, , et al..
KEVIN MCNULTY, U.S.D.J.:
This is a motion by defendant Thomas Choi (“Choi”) under N.J.
Stat. Ann. § 2A: 16-49 to cancel of record a judgment that has been
discharged in bankruptcy.
In 2008, Choi, as owner of certain Premises in Ridgefield Park, New
Jersey, granted Hanam a first lien on the Premises to secure a loan from
Hanam to defendant Silver Creek Construction Co. (“Silver Creek”). Choi
was also a guarantor. On May 22, 2013, Choi and his wife filed a
Chapter 7 petition in bankruptcy, and by order dated August 1, 2013,
the bankruptcy court granted a discharge of debts.
On October 8, 2013, the United States Small Business
Administration (“SBA”), as receiver for Hanam Capital Corporation
(“Hanam”), brought this mortgage foreclosure action. No defendant
answered or appeared. The clerk entered default, and the Court granted
plaintiff’s motion for a default judgment. On August 11, 2014, I signed
an order in the form supplied by plaintiff, which bears a blunderbuss
title that has perhaps contributed to some of the evident confusion here:
“ORDER FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANTS.” (ECF no.
On November 5, 2014, again using the form supplied by the
plaintiff, I signed a Final Judgment for Foreclosure and Possession,
together with a writ of execution permitting a sheriff’s sale of the
Premises. (ECF nos. 22, 23)
It appears that the August 11, 2014, order turned up in an
abstract of judgment as a personal money judgment against Mr. Choi.
That is incorrect; this was an action to foreclose interests in the property.
My understanding is that the Clerk has corrected this. The parties have
entered into a lively dispute over the content of counsel’s telephone calls
to the clerk, but the dispute is moot. My order, below, will ensure that
my understanding is correct.
Mr. Choi also objects that as of August 26, 2014, a judgment
search by the Charles Jones firm continued to show this as a money
judgment against Choi. Presumably this is a case of lag time, but in any
event I am not equipped to correct the records of a third-party search
The parties agree that the distinction to be drawn is this. The
foreclosure action as against the property passes through the Choi
bankruptcy unscathed. See, e.g., Johnson v. Home State Bank, 501 U.s.
78, 84 (1991). By contrast, an inpersonam claim for money against Choi
is dischargeable in bankruptcy.
The plaintiff acknowledges that its default judgment in this action
is one for foreclosure and associated relief only. It is not, and never was,
a money judgment against Choi personally. (See ECF no. 37, P1. Brf. 6)
So what is the dispute about? Choi, relying on the Charles Jones
search, says this Court has entered an in personam money judgment
against him, that this judgment was discharged in bankruptcy, and that
it should now be cancelled of record. Plaintiff replies that since there
never was a money judgment against Choi, there never was a discharge
in bankruptcy, and there is nothing to cancel. The only judgment in this
case is one for foreclosure and associated relief, which is nondischargeable.
The plaintiff’s view as to the scope and effect of the Court’s
judgment is the correct one. I nevertheless understand Choi’s concern
that there not be an erroneous money judgment filed against him in this
IT IS this
day of January, 2017
ORDERED as follows:
The clerk shall, to the extent still necessary, correct the
Court’s records to clarify that there is no personal money judgment
against Mr. Choi filed in this action;
To remove doubt, the Court declares that the operative final
judgment in this action is one for foreclosure and associated relief
entered on November 5, 2014 (ECF no. 22);
The motion for discharge of judgment (ECF’ no. 33) is
DENIED as moot.
United States District Ju ge
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