What The %^&*(* Is "Mesne Profits"?
Hi, our BK 7 was discharged in 4/03 and mortgage holder #2 (actually their rep) has sent us a summons. We had made it patently clear that we had abandoned the property. There is mention of the Plaintiff demanding judgment against the defendants for "damages and mesne profits". Can someone please explain what a "mesne profit" is? I've tried to do a web search but cannot make any sense out of all the legalese that turned up. Thanks in advance.
If I'm understanding it correctly as a layperson (hopefully Brett or another lawyer can correct me if I'm wrong, or let me know if I'm right!)...plus I believe state law affects mesne which still doesn't supercede bankruptcy law... They're trying to claim money for a time period between when (they probably claim) you gave up the property and when they believe you should've given it up but weren't making payments. Now, if they're trying to claim the mesne period was during the automatic stay I really doubt that would hold in a court of law as it wouldn't apply to that period. And if they're claiming it's pre-petition that doesn't really fly either because in a Chapter 7 that would be wiped out. Particularly if they hadn't filed for a release from stay to foreclose. And if they had filed for one and it was denied, then I can't see them as having a leg to stand on. (Mesne profits appears to be a legalese way of saying arrearages on rent/mortgage.) Now, if you stayed in the house beyond the discharge date (or when you agreed to forfeit the house) then they may have a case for that time period. My understanding is that normally mesne profits are claimed in a foreclosure, not a bankruptcy unless the people don't leave after the discharge. Damages is probably pretty much BS, and I think they probably know that unless you just don't show up to court that they wouldn't be likely to get it unless any delays were obviously purposeful and meant to defraud them. Be sure to discuss this with your lawyer, don't take my thoughts for gospel! If they have no right to mesne profits or damages (which I suspect they don't) then you'll have one doozy of a violation suit available to you! Calling someone and/or sending them bills after discharge is bad enough, a summons for a lawsuit is a whole 'nother animal.
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