Can bankruptcy end a civil debt? 24 Answers as of April 08, 2014

I had been incarcerated for 38 months. During my incarceration, I was sued for an accident I was in. I had no insurance. There was a judgement against in favor of 2 insurance companies totaling $14,600. I was going to claim bankruptcy when I got out anyway. Will that wipe out the debt owed or will I still have to pay?

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EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
That debt should be dischargeable and you will to file bankruptcy in order to apply for a drivers license.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/8/2014
Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
Generally, yes, those debts will be discharged as part of the bankruptcy. However, if the underlying judgment found that there was some type of fraud or other instances, the debt may not be discharged. Visit with your attorney to make sure.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 4/7/2014
Law Offices of David H. Relkin
Law Offices of David H. Relkin | David H. Relkin
Simply being released from jail does not wipe out debts. You would still be liable given the facts as you stated them. However, you can hire an attorney to now vacate the judgments.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/7/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
The purpose of bankruptcy is to wipe away civil debts. Generally, the only reason that the debt from an auto accident won't be wiped out is if you were drunk and caused the accident.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/2/2014
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
The debt will be discharged under most circumstances. If you were found guilty of DWI and causing the accident, the debt may not be discharged.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/2/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    It depends. 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(6) does not discharge debts incurred through willful and malicious injury to another or another's property. 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(9) does not discharge debts incurred for death or personal injury caused by operation of a motor vehicle if unlawful because of intoxication. Also, most restitution is nondischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/2/2014
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Generally yes, but there are some exceptions.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    Assuming there were no DUI issues related to the accident then a bankruptcy should relieve you of those obligations.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    If the debt is indeed merely a civil debt, yes, it can be discharged. There are certain categories of civil debt (as opposed to criminal restitution) that cannot be discharged. One of these relates to damages in DUI cases.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    It depends. If there is any finding that the there was some intention in the accident, the insurance companies may be able to file a complaint for the Court to rule their claims non-dischargeable. If there was no intention or gross negligence, for example, it is likely that it would be discharged along with all other debts. However, that does not happen automatically and the insurance companies need to make a cost-benefit analysis to figure out if it is worthwhile to pursue such a complaint as it involves retaining an attorney and going all the way through trial if you defend, which can be quite expensive for everyone involved. It most likely would cost more than $14,600 and then the creditor has to worry about whether such judgment can be collected from you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Yes, generally speaking, bankruptcy will discharge those types of debts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Normally yes the bankruptcy would wipe out civil judgment. But it depends on what the reason for judgments are, for example: If drunk driving was involved, that is not dischargeable. There may also be orders that if you don't pay, you go back to prison. See a good bankruptcy attorney who is also familiar with criminal law when you get you to see what the best alternative is for you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    This is dischargeable as long as there is not a restitution order in your criminal case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
    Unless the accident was the result of driving under the influence the debt would be discharged in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    A debt arising out of a traffic accident can be deemed non-dischargeable through what is called an adversary complaint. Your victim would bring an action, similar to a civil action, but in the bankruptcy court, to make it impossible for you to discharge your debt if the Court decides it is a debt "for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity or to the property of another entity."
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Civil judgments can often be eliminated by bankruptcy. The types of debts that may be ineligible to be eliminated are described in 11 USC sec 523. If the accident was related to a criminal action, such as drunk or drugged driving, it is possible you may not be able to eliminate it through bankruptcy, but the creditor would have to file suit against you in bankruptcy court very quickly to stop the debt from being eliminated.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    Unless the debt was for personal injury caused by DUI, it should be discharged in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin | Eric W. I. Anglin
    You may include civil judgments against you unless the debt resulted from DWI or an intentional act causing injury.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    Unless the debt was incurred through fraud or other type excepted from discharge, it should be dischargeable in bankruptcy. Were you driving while under the influence and that caused the accident? That would be potentially non-dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    The Law Office of M Grater LLC
    The Law Office of M Grater LLC | Mark O. Grater
    Yes, the bankruptcy should discharge the debt.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Graves Law Firm
    Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
    The auto accident debt should generally be treated as any other unsecured debt that can be discharged under Chapter 7, unless you were driving drunk at the time of the accident. There's a special provision of the bankruptcy code that prevents discharge of debt incurred because of drunk driving.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    So long as you were not cited for DWI in the accident, yes, the judgment should be discharged just like any other debt by a bankruptcy discharge.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/31/2014
    Weber & Phillips, P.A.
    Weber & Phillips, P.A. | John G. Phillips
    Yes. A civil suit can be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 3/31/2014
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