Can a person file for bankruptcy and get out of paying a judgement against them from a small claims case? 22 Answers as of January 12, 2015

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Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
If the underlying debt is otherwise dischargeable, it can be discharged in a bankruptcy. A simple additional application is needed after the bankruptcy discharge in order to clear away the judgment lien.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 1/12/2015
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
Yes, if the judgment is not one that would be under the exceptions to discharge.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 1/8/2015
Rhymer Law Firm
Rhymer Law Firm | William Rhymer
Usually yes, if there was no fraud or damages while under the influence of alcohol are involved.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 1/7/2015
EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
Yes; any such judgments are stayed automatically by the filing of the bankruptcy and then are void when the debtor receives the discharge.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 1/7/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Yes, you should see a local attorney so we can discuss the details of your case but generally that is not a problem to discharge.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/6/2015
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    Yes. Small claims judgments are certainly not more powerful than any other judgment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    J.M. Cook, P.A. | J.M. Cook
    Bankruptcy is based on equity. If you have no equity in property, after the application of liens and exemptions, then you don't have to repay your debts. There are numerous exceptions to this however. You should consult with a qualified bankruptcy atty in your area.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Sure, happens every day. In a very few instances, the provisions of 11 USC provide reasons why a debt may not be discharged, but the creditor is required to file suit in bankruptcy court in order for the court to decide whether these debts should be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
    As long as the debt is not based on fraud or intentional misrepresentation of some sort it should be discharged in a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    yes, it is done all the time. If however the creditor recorded a judgement lien an additional motion is necessary to get rid of the lien.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Unless the judgment is for fraud, bankruptcy would discharge the small claims judgment.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    John W. Lee, P.C.
    John W. Lee, P.C. | John W. Lee
    In most cases a bankruptcy will discharge your legal obligation to pay a Judgment. There are a few exceptions, for example if the judgment debt was incurred through fraud or if the judgment was for damages incurred as a result of drinking and driving then it may not be discharged in bankruptcy. If the judgment were recorded against your property, then the lien may not be discharged. Generally speaking, the debt associated with a judgement for a simple unsecured debt, like a credit card or medical bill, is discharged in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Perhaps, need details. Some judgments are not dischargable in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    Yes, under most circumstances. You should have a lawyer look at the judgment to be sure.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    Filing a bankruptcy petition to avoid a small claims judgment is like cutting off your arm because you have a hangnail. Bankruptcy is a serious step that affects your financial life for years and should only be used as a last option.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    In Alabama the answer is yes unless punitive damages.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Michael J. Duggar, P.A.
    Michael J. Duggar, P.A. | Michael J. Duggar
    Although there are a limited number of exceptions to discharge in bankruptcy, you normally can avoid a small claims judgment by discharging it in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    It is possible Stuart M. Nachbar, Esq.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C.
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C. | Ken Parker
    Yes. Many people file bankruptcy due to a lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    In general, yes, so long as your nonexempt assets do not exceed your debts. However, if the judgment has already been recorded with the county recorders' office *and *you own real estate, it may not be possible or may require more work. I am trying not to get too technical here, but if you would like a consultation, we offer a free initial consultation (usually 1/2 hour or so) to go over your situation and your options. Like everything, the earlier you learn your options, the more options you will have available to you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
    Most of the time, yes. You need to bring in the lawsuit papers for review with a bankruptcy attorney to be sure.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/6/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    The short answer is yes. As long as you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy judgments are dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/6/2015
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