Can the defendant file bankruptcy to avoid paying any claims? 18 Answers as of December 22, 2014

I am suing someone for assaulting me. Their home insurance will not cover intentional acts.

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
You can file bankruptcy, but if the plaintiff can prove intentional conduct on your part, the debt may not be dischargeable in BK. The Plaintiff would have to file an Adversary Proceeding in your Chapter 7 BK case. The Adversary Proceeding is given a case number and has a life of its own (so to speak). The Plaintiff will probably have to pay an attorney hourly to handle something like this. The Plaintiff may not want to "throw good money after bad money", and may simply do nothing. It is hard to say.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 12/22/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Yes, But most intentional actions are not dischargeable if the injured person objects to the discharge.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 12/19/2014
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
Someone can file bankruptcy on a debt that resulted from an assault, but 11 USC sec 523 provides that you, as the creditor, have the right to object to this person receiving a discharge. But you need to act quick, you need to act correctly, and for sure you need a bankruptcy lawyer to handle this because if you make a mistake, your assailant will win.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 12/19/2014
R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
Yes, someone may file bankruptcy to avoid paying claims. However, if the acts were intentional you may have an argument that your claim should not be discharged. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your rights.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 12/19/2014
Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
Any civil judgement can be discharged in a BK. Criminal restitution, on the other hand, cannot.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/19/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Yes, it is possible. If the defendant does file bankruptcy, your option is to file an Adversary Proceeding in the bankruptcy to have the Judge declare any debt to you non-dischargeable. If you do not act, any debt owed to you will be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/19/2014
    Freeman Law Group, LLC
    Freeman Law Group, LLC | Derek Freeman
    Maybe. If it was an intentional act, as you say, the bankruptcy will not protect them. Explicitly excluded from discharge in a bankruptcy are damages due to willful and malicious injury. So whether the bankruptcy will protect them really depends on the outcome of your case. Your lawyer should be able to help you figure it out.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/19/2014
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    It's possible to file an adversary proceeding or lawsuit in bankruptcy court during the bankruptcy to object to the discharge of debts for "willful and malicious injury" such as assault. You would likely need an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to do so, and it would not be cheap.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/19/2014
    J.M. Cook, P.A. | J.M. Cook
    With very limited exceptions, someone can always file bankruptcy. The real question here is will they receive a discharge that would discharge your debt. The Bankruptcy Code provides that debts for willful or malicious injury to a person are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, the defendant files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must file a proof of claim for the damages and file an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court to have the court determine whether the debt is non-dischargeable. If the defendant files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debt would be non-dischargeable without the need to file the proceeding. Timing can affect this result in either case based on if the defendant files before the state court issues a final judgment.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 12/19/2014
    Richard West Law Office
    Richard West Law Office | Richard West
    Intentional infliction of harm claims, like assaults, are NOT discharged in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 12/19/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    Yes they can. The burden will then be on you to object to their discharge under section 523 of the bankruptcy code which may protect your debt from being discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 12/19/2014
    D.J. Rausa, Attorney at Law | D.J. Rausa
    Any intentional act is not subject to the Discharge. You may want to hire an attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/18/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally bankruptcy will not discharge obligations for intentional injuries and criminal activity. Be careful about how the judgment is worded. Your really should have an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/18/2014
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    One of the exceptions to a bankruptcy discharge is for a debt arising from 'willful and malicious injury' to persons or property caused by a debtor. But you have to file an 'adversary proceeding,' (a mini-lawsuit within a bankruptcy case) within the first 90 days after the debtor files his/her/its/their bankruptcy petition. You would be well advised to retain an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to deal with this situation, if it should arise. Lawyers are not cheap, at least not good ones, so I suggest you consider the size of your damages and compare that with the cost of hiring a good lawyer (very likely several thousand dollars). Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 12/18/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You need a lawyer to represent you in the bankruptcy case. You only have 60 days from the date of their hearing to file an action for non- dischargeability.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/18/2014
    Bunch & Brock, Attorneys-at-Law
    Bunch & Brock, Attorneys-at-Law | W. Thomas Bunch II
    Yes, the defendant can file the bankruptcy case, but YOU need to object to the discharge based upon the intentional tort. Generally, intentional torts are non-dischargeable under 11 USC Section 523(a)(6). If you fail to object within 60 days after the original date of the meeting of creditors, you will have waived the objection. Please contact an attorney ASAP to pursue this matter, or at a minimum, to get legal advice about this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 12/18/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    In your lawsuit, be sure to allege willful and malicious injury. Then if you get a judgment, it would not be eligible for discharge in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/18/2014
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    A defendant can file bankruptcy to try and avoid liability for your claim, however, you can file an adversary action in bankruptcy court to have the claim deemed "non-dischargeable" under 11 USC.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/18/2014
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