Can a civil suit be included in a chapter 7 bankruptcy? 29 Answers as of May 30, 2013

Can a civil suit be included in a chapter 7 bankruptcy? It has not gone to trial or court yet but is scheduled for one week from now. Total suit is 20,000.

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Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
Yes.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 5/30/2013
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Yes it can be included even if it hasn't gone to trial yet.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 3/23/2012
Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
Yes, all debts incurred including lawsuits are included in your bankruptcy on your filing date.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/20/2012
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
All debts that exist at the time of the bankruptcy filing must be included in the petition. This includes pending lawsuits as well as judgments.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/20/2012
The Barger Law Firm
The Barger Law Firm | Jason W. Barger
Depends on what the civil suit is based upon. If it is unsecured debt collection, then, yes, it can be included in and discharged through bankruptcy. If it is a case in which you are accused of committing a tortious action (negligence, personal injury) while under the influence of alcohol, or if the suit involves child support, then, no, you will not be able to get a discharge of the award.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/20/2012
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C.
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C. | Ken Parker
    Yes. In many cases, a civil suit it the catalyst for a Bankruptcy filing. Make sure you list the original creditor, any collection agency and the attorney representing the creditor in the civil suit. Once a bankruptcy case is filed, I always file a Stay of Bankruptcy in the Court where the civil suit is pending. This puts the civil Court on notice that you have filed a Bankruptcy case and freezes the civil suit while your Bankruptcy is pending. Once you get a Discharge, the civil suit should be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/20/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    Yes, it can be included.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/20/2012
    Ipson Law Firm, PLLC
    Ipson Law Firm, PLLC | Michael Ipson
    It depends on the nature of the civil suit. In certain circumstances like fraud can prevent you from claiming the debt in bankruptcy. Often times it is possible.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    J.M. Cook, P.A. | J.M. Cook
    It depends on the nature of the civil suit. Some torts are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Jackie Ferguson Graham
    Yes, a civil case or judgment can be included and discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
    Generally you can file bankruptcy on civil collection suits, as long as the debt itself is not non-dischargeable (see 11 U.S.C. 523 for fraud, theft, criminal or alcohol related personal injuries, etc..)
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Heineman Law Office
    Heineman Law Office | Jeff Heineman
    Yes, the civil suit must be listed in your bankruptcy. Your liability for the debt, associated with the lawsuit, will be discharged unless the other party, to your civil suit, files an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court, to object to the discharge of that debt.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    You should consult with your bankruptcy attorney about this. Whether an award in the civil suit is dischargeable will depend upon the grounds for the suit. Suits for intentional torts, and in particular those involving dishonest behavior such as fraud, are not dischargeable. Awards for breach of contract may very well be dischargeable. If your bankruptcy attorney says it will be dischargeable, have the attorney file a Suggestion of Bankruptcy in your civil case. It may very well stop the proceeding in its tracks and save you time and money.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Yes.... you can file and stop the lawsuit and discharge the debt. If there is an allegation of fraud and intentional wrongdoing then the party suing you may file a lawsuit against you in bankruptcy court (called an adversary proceeding) or ask the bankrutpcy court to allow the lawsuit to continue in the state or other court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    Yes, civil damages would be included in your chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Bodow Law Firm PLLC | Ted Araujo
    Yes. As long as there is no fraud or criminal restitution issues that law suit will be discharged in Bankruptcy. The first thing you need to do if and when you get sued is file an Answer. The summons will tell you that you must "appear" by way of an Answer in 10, 20 or 30 days, "depending on the method of service." PLEASE CHECK THE LAW IN YOUR STATE AS YOU MAY ACTUALLY HAVE TO APPEAR IN COURT, AS IN VIRGINIA, IN ORDER TO AVOID A DEFAULT! You need a lawyer, but if you cannot afford one right away, rather then do nothing and have a judgment entered against you, is to "appear" by filing something! Many people think this means they have to go to Court and this is incorrect. 90% of all lawsuits end in Default Judgments because the defendant (person getting sued) did not file an Answer. I recommend you go to the free form I have on my website. Print it out and fill it out as instructed. You must answer the numbered paragraphs on the Complaint by writing them into the appropriate lines in the Answer. The Answer will allow you to preserve your rights and will prohibit a default judgment (i.e. you did not show up) from being entered against you. Mimic the paperwork you got when you got sued. Answer all the paragraphs of the Complaint by writing the numbers in lines 1, 2 or 3. Almost 100% of attorneys will deny what is owed because they did not do the calculations and do not know what the basis for the number is... When you file the Answer that is your "not guilty". You have the right to make the person suing you (Plaintiff) prove their case, but you must also answer the complaint truthfully. Make sure you fill in the name and address of the attorney suing you before you bring this paperwork to the Court. Mail it to the attorney suing you right away! Good Luck!
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Yes, all debts, whether or not the amount is fixed by a judgment, can be included.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Tony M. May Attorney At Law
    Tony M. May Attorney At Law | Tony M. May PC
    The answer to your question is Yes, a civil suit can be included within a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. If you file your petition and serve the other party in your state court matter, as well as file the appropriate document with the state Court, the lawsuit must stop and the trial should be postponed. The reason is that as soon as the State Court receives the proper notice of the filing of the Bankruptcy Petition, the state Court loses its jurisdiction or right to rule against you. The only way the State Court proceeding can continue is if the other side files a motion with the Bankruptcy Court to lift the mandatory bankruptcy stay (i.e., the stopping of any further proceedings), and the other party wins the motion. Otherwise, the state court claim against you will become just another creditor within the bankruptcy process and will be subject to the rules of bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Yes, it can be included, in fact you must list it if you file for bankruptcy protection. Beware, if the civil claim for some type of fraud that might follow you into bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    Usually, unless it involves fraud.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Neuhaus Law Office
    Neuhaus Law Office | Gregory M. Neuhaus
    Yes, a civil suit, even if it has gone to judgment, can be included in a Bankruptcy. There are a very few exceptions.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    If you have not yet received a Chapter 7 discharge, you need to list the suit on your schedules, and pay the extra filing fee to add the creditor.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    Yes - but whether it will be discharged may depend on the nature of the civil suit.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law | Gregory J. Wald
    Yes, you can include the debt that is the subject of your civil suit. The bankruptcy will stop the civil suit against you immediately when it is filed. However, there are some kinds of debts that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy (e.g., fraudulent debts, most student loans, etc.), so your lawyer would need to know more about it.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    It can but there are certain debts that are not dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2012
    Dan Shay Law
    Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
    Yes, normally a civil suit would be discharged in a Chapter 7 so long as no fraud, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2012
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