Can I file bankruptcy if I was sued in a civil suit? 14 Answers as of July 17, 2013

I was sued in 2009 in a civil court for assault. A default judgment was passed on me. There was no criminal charges or even questioning for the same incident. If I file bankruptcy, will it absolve the debt? I am not sure if the exact term on the default judgment was assault or not, but I know it has to do with a fight that took place in 2007. Also, if I live in another state than the judgment, is it still as easy to collect?

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Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
You need to read the judgment. You cannot discharge a debt that results from willful and malicious injury to another. If you live in another state, the plaintiff can register it as a foreign judgment and try to collect.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 7/17/2013
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Where you live will not stop the collection process. It depends on what is in the default judgement, it might not be dischargeable. You have to have a lawyer look at it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/16/2013
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Cant discharge damages from assault in bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/16/2013
Colorado Legal Solutions
Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
The debt will be dischargable in bankruptcy unless the plaintiff files and adversary complaint to establish that the debt is the result of a willful and wanton injury (which is very possible with an assault). If they succeed in doing that, the debt will not be discharged.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/16/2013
Sanford M. Martin, P.A. | Sanford M. Martin
Of course, lawsuits often move persons to file bankruptcy. Review the basic information and options of Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy, which you are required to do before you file. Discuss with an attorney your specific situation because bankruptcy is complex and requires careful consideration. May this information help you,
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/16/2013
    Connaghan Newberry Law Firm
    Connaghan Newberry Law Firm | Tara D. Newberry
    You should consult with an attorney to research the status of the judgment and the findings of the court if a judgment was actually entered. You can still file bankruptcy even after a civil judgment is entered, however not all debts are dischargeable, so if s person is filing because of a single debt, a careful analysis by an attorney is necessary to determine if a bankruptcy would accomplish your goal. Some debts may be discharged in a chapter 13 but not a 7, it's important not to make assumptions about dischargeability either way. Judgments can be domesticated in other states than where they were entered, so they can follow you to another state. However, if you did not live in the State that entered the judgment at the time the judgment was entered there maybe an issue with regards to jurisdiction. You really should consider meeting with an attorney to discuss these issues.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/16/2013
    Law Offices of David A. Tilem | Michael Avanesian
    Yes, still easy to collect. Whether you can discharge it in bankruptcy really depends on the facts etc. You need to consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2013
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Yes, you can put this into a Bankruptcy, but it may wind up being non dischargeable depending on how written.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/15/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    This would be a tryable issue, meaning that you could try it, but there would be no guarantee it would be sucessful. You might have better luck if you go with a Chapter 13 instead.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/15/2013
    Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC
    Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC | Mark Cherry
    If you are a candidate for bankruptcy anyway, a civil judgement like that is probably dischargable.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/15/2013
    SmithMarco, P.C.
    SmithMarco, P.C. | Larry P. Smith
    Yes you can. In fact, the best time to do it
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/15/2013
    Stuart P Gelberg
    Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
    Intentional torts like assault are nondischargeable but require the creditor to obtain a judgment that says so. Moving out of state does it more difficult to collect especially in some more debtor friendly states
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/15/2013
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Intentional torts (assault and battery) are subject to being found not dischargeable in bankruptcy if the creditor files an Adversary Proceeding in bankruptcy to keep the debt form being discharged. A creditor has to take a copy of the judgment and register the judgment in the state where you live and can collect based on the laws of the state where you live.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It is quite possible that the debt is NOT dischargeable if it arose out of an intentional act, which an assault and battery is. See a bankruptcy attorney, and yes, out of state judgments are certainly collectable.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/15/2013
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