Can I file bankruptcy before a civil case or do I wait until after judgement? 16 Answers as of November 14, 2014

NJ, pleaded down and got time served and 2 years’ probation. Now being sued for damages, court costs. Criminal defense broke my monetary back, and now I own nothing, no bank account, no car, and no property. I have a job and live with my girlfriend in Florida.

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EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
You can start the bankruptcy before a civil judgment is entered. It will will stop that law suit.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 11/14/2014
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Court fines and criminal restitution are not dischargeable in a BK.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 11/13/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
You have a complex case. There is an issue on whether Florida or NJ law applies to your bankruptcy and there is an issue on whether the debt from the criminal case is dischargeable. I'd recommend that you see an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 11/13/2014
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
You can file before or after the judgment. The important thing is whether there is a claim against you not whether it has gone to judgments or not.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 11/13/2014
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
It is your choice as to whether you wish to file bankruptcy before or after a judgment is entered in a civil suit. Most people prefer to file bankruptcy before a judgment becomes final because the terms of the judgment may act as evidence of whether the debt is eligible to be discharged in bankruptcy under 11 USC sec 523 and because a judgment, once recorded, can act as a lien, making removal of the lien an additional problem to deal with.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/12/2014
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    Depends on claim.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/12/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    This might be non dischargeable. You need to see local counsel. Bring the criminal paper work with you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/12/2014
    D.J. Rausa, Attorney at Law | D.J. Rausa
    Consult with an attorney in Florida.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/12/2014
    Freeman Law Group, LLC
    Freeman Law Group, LLC | Derek Freeman
    I do not know the facts in your case so I can only speak in generalities. Generally, you do not need to wait until the judgment is entered to include the suit in your bankruptcy. You do need to wait until a complaint has been filed, however. The bankruptcy will only cover debts incurred prior to the date you file. You should make sure that all parties have filed so that all judgments will be covered. You should be aware, however, that the other parties in the suit can file an objection to discharge, or a motion for relief of stay, which could allow them to continue their suit against you. You really need to talk with a local bankruptcy attorney for advice. I cannot give you any sound advice without knowing the facts of your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/12/2014
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
    It is very important to consult with an attorney in person to review the civil suit, and what the chances are of having it discharged. There are certain kinds of civil suits where the plaintiff can challenge whether it can be discharged in a bankruptcy case.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/12/2014
    Southern Michigan Bankruptcy Center | Craig Jackson
    You don't have to wait. You should file bankruptcy before the judgement is entered. However, the particular debt you are referencing may be a non dischargeable debt, depending on the nature of the criminal offense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/12/2014
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    If you have been in Florida for 180 days, you file there IF in NJ file here.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/12/2014
    214bankruptcy.com
    214bankruptcy.com | Rustin Polk
    You can do it either way, before the case goes to trial or after there's already a judgment. If you do it beforehand, however, you probably save the time/trouble/expense of having to go through the trial.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/12/2014
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    It makes no difference. You can do it either way.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/12/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Speak with an attorney with specifics PRIOR to committing to file. If may well be that the damages will not be dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/12/2014
    The Law Offices of Deborah Ann Stencel | Deborah A. Stencel
    See an attorney. If you meant the civil case is against you, it may be best to file sooner rather than later. Or it may not matter depending on the nature of the case. See an attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 11/12/2014
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