If I file for bankruptcy, will that have any effect on debts that have previous judgments? 31 Answers as of April 18, 2014

I have had thousands of dollars in debt accrue from credit cards and hospital fees that I haven't been able to pay over the years. I was wondering if filing for bankruptcy would exempt me from paying the rest of the judgements that have already been passed against me as well as make it so that I can't be sued for any other outstanding debts that I may have? Please help me as soon as possible!

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Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
A bankruptcy should discharge most judgments. There are some exceptions.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/18/2014
Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
Most Judgments would be discharged (eliminated so you no longer have to pay them) in a Bankruptcy. Those involving fraud are not. Some other debts are not. If you want to evaluate the impact of filing you need to see a knowledgeable local Bankruptcy attorney. It is very fact specific.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/18/2014
Joseph Lehn, Esq
Joseph Lehn, Esq | Lehn Law, PA
Yes, bankruptcy will discharge the judgments as well as outstanding debts owed. If you own a house, in addition to discharging the debt in bankruptcy, you will need to file Motions to Avoid Lien for each judgment to remove the liens from your house.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/18/2014
Law Office of Shirly L. Horn | Shirley L. Horn
Those will go away as well.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/18/2014
Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
Judgments are absolutely dischargeable in bankruptcy. The only problem you can have with them is if the judgment creditor has recorded them against your home. Then they become a secured debt. However, since they are involuntary they can be removed from your home by filing the proper motions. If you do not have a home they will be wiped out with the discharge. It sounds like a bankruptcy might be a great thing for you. Look into it further.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/18/2014
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    All of your debts will be discharged in a bankruptcy, including debts previously reduced to a judgment.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C.
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C. | Ken Parker
    A Bankruptcy may be able to wipe out most if not all of your previous debts including judgments.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Tokarska Law Center
    Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
    Here is a cut and paste of a discharge order. This should help answer your question. Collection of Discharged Debts Prohibited The discharge prohibits any attempt to collect from the debtor a debt that has been discharged. For example, a creditor is not permitted to contact a debtor by mail, phone, or otherwise, to file or continue a lawsuit, to attach wages or other property, or to take any other action to collect a discharged debt from the debtor. [In a case involving community property: There are also special rules that protect certain community property owned by the debtor's spouse, even if that spouse did not file a bankruptcy case.] A creditor who violates this order can be required to pay damages and attorney's fees to the debtor. However, a creditor may have the right to enforce a valid lien, such as a mortgage or security interest, against the debtor's property after the bankruptcy, if that lien was not avoided or eliminated in the bankruptcy case. Also, a debtor may voluntarily pay any debt that has been discharged. Debts That are Discharged The chapter 7 discharge order eliminates a debtor's legal obligation to pay a debt that is discharged. Most, but not all, types of debts are discharged if the debt existed on the date the bankruptcy case was filed. (If this case was begun under a different chapter of the Bankruptcy Code and converted to chapter 7, the discharge applies to debts owed when the bankruptcy case was converted.) Debts That are Not Discharged Some of the common types of debts which are not discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case are: a. Debts for most taxes; b. Debts incurred to pay nondischargeable taxes; c. Debts that are domestic support obligations; d. Debts for most student loans; e. Debts for most fines, penalties, forfeitures, or criminal restitution obligations; f. Debts for personal injuries or death caused by the debtor's operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated; g. Some debts which were not properly listed by the debtor; h. Debts that the bankruptcy court specifically has decided or will decide in this bankruptcy case are not discharged; i. Debts for which the debtor has given up the discharge protections by signing a reaffirmation agreement in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code requirements for reaffirmation of debts; and j. Debts owed to certain pension, profit sharing, stock bonus, other retirement plans, or to the Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees for certain types of loans from these plans. This information is only a general summary of the bankruptcy discharge. There are exceptions to these general rules. Because the law is complicated, you may want to consult an attorney to determine the exact effect of the discharge in this case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Rhymer Law Firm
    Rhymer Law Firm | William Rhymer
    I am assuming you are referring to a Chapter 7 case. As long as the judgments are not for the kind of debt that is not dischargeable, you should be able to discharge them .The fact that a creditor has a judgement does not mean you cannot discharge it. You need to talk with an attorney about your eligibility to file Chapter 7 and how each of your debts will be treated. Most bankruptcy attorneys will give you a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Judgments are dischargeable just like any other debt, so file that bankruptcy now! Unless the judgement is for some kind of fraud there is no reason to wait.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
    All debts including any judgments owed at the time of filing will be discharged with a few exceptions (student loans, some taxes, fines for example). You cannot be sued for outstanding debts owed when you file. Any debts after the date of filing are not discharged. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney for details on what debts are discharged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Many people file bankruptcy to eliminate court judgments in civil cases. If the judgments have been recorded, they may have become liens affecting the title to any real estate you own. The process to remove these judgment liens is not included as part of the fee for a standard bankruptcy case, and is in fact, a complex and costly undertaking. Most of the time, though, these judgment liens can be removed.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    Normally, prior judgments for credit cards and medical bills can be discharged in bankruptcy as long as the judgment has not been perfected by the filing of a lien against your real property that is non-exempt.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    Generally, judgments are dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, if the judgments are for fraud (or other reasons that are the basis for non-dischargeability) they may not be discharged. Also, if the judgments have been secured (by filing liens with the Secretary of State and the County) you will have to take action to remove them, if they impair your exemptions. You should see an attorney before filing your petition to have your situation analyzed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    Yes, all those debts will be wiped out. If you own a home, then the liens would have attached, but your attorney would simply file additional motions to avoid those liens and you are all cleaned up.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Graves Law Firm
    Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
    Yes. That's what bankruptcy is for.? Reducing a debt to judgment doesn't make it non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, though in some jurisdictions it may attach as a lien on any property you own. ? See a bankruptcy lawyer, and good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    The debts will be eliminated even if there is a judgement entered.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Law Office of Shawn N. Wright | Shawn N. Wright
    Yes, bankruptcy is well-suited to wipe out those types of debts. Once they are discharged (wiped out), then you will never have to repay them, and if the creditor in question ever again attempts to collect on those debts, then you could be entitled to sue that creditor for money damages. As far as judgments that have already been entered against you, then it is likely that you can avoid that judgments as well through the bankruptcy filing.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
    When you file bankruptcy there is an automatic stay against any creditor action. The discharge makes all judgments against the debtor null and void, hence uncollectible. Any debts at the date of the filing are discharged hence gone.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    Yes, a bankruptcy will discharge judgments for credit cards and medical bills. If you can identify other creditors who might sue you in the future, then if you list them as creditors in your bankruptcy they will not be able to sue you after you file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk | Andrew Oostdyk
    It is possible that the Judgments will be discharged, but more information is needed to answer your question. You should contact a local bankruptcy attorney for a consultation before filing to ensure that everything is done properly.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    HARVEY S. MORRISON, ATTONEY AT LAW
    HARVEY S. MORRISON, ATTONEY AT LAW | HARVEY S. MORRISON
    Assuming that there are no issues of non-dischargeability,the filing of bankruptcy would and resulting discharge will prevent your creditors from proceeding against you any further.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Yes, it is possible to remove judgments and discharge all of your debts. However, you should not do this by yourself. You will need an attorney to make sure you discharge all of your debts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Meister & McCracken Law Firm, PLLC | Joanne M. McCracken
    Yes, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge all your debt that exists on the day you file with some exceptions: child support, student loans, some taxes and criminal fines and restitution cannot be discharged. You should talk to a qualified bankruptcy attorney as soon as you can before your creditors start garnishing your wages or levying on your bank account.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    That is the purpose and generally the effect of bankruptcy. Seek counsel before you make a move.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Yes, filing bankruptcy protects you from past judgments and debts of all types with a few exceptions: it does not protect you from debts where you committed fraud in applying for the loan, it doesn't protect you from lawsuits from people you injured while drunk driving, it doesn't protect you from income tax debts that are less than 3 years old. There are some others but they are rare and/or don't affect consumer debts.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Any debt you have, whether it is unpaid credits cards, medical bills or judgments are all still debts and are able to be discharged in a bankruptcy and no longer enforceable against you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin | Eric W. I. Anglin
    Yes bankruptcy will discharge judgments as well as the other debts. If you own real estate your atty will need to remove those judgments.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    Yes, bankruptcy doesn't only discharge your current debts, but other debts that have been reduced to judgment (thus preserved against the statute of limitations) as well. You want to be as complete and accurate in the paperwork as possible to avoid complications down the road. Bankruptcy doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, my rate, for example is $1256 for Chapter 7 including the filing fee.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    Yes. A bankruptcy will stop all collections on judgments. If the judgment has been liened against a property, that lien can also be removed. Visit with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 4/17/2014
    Bensamochan & Poghosyan LLP | Eric Bensamochan
    Simply put, yes. Generally a Chapter 7 will discharge your debt and you will not have to pay judgments, credit cards, or medical bill debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/17/2014
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