If you have a gambling problem, can you still file for bankruptcy? 22 Answers as of February 28, 2014

Do you have to mention that at all?

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MCBRIDE LAW OFFICE | Robert E. McBride
You must disclose recent gambling losses. The consequences of the gambling losses, if any, may vary depending on a number of factors.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 2/28/2014
Stuart P Gelberg
Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
Yes you can file. You must answer a Question about gambling losses in the last year
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/28/2014
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Maybe yes and maybe no. Just depends on your income and expenses, but I have filed BK's for people with gambling issues. You may want to enroll in Gamblers Anonymous - this will help you with the BK, and help you personally (otherwise filing BK will not help if you continue with the gambling problem). Like I use to tell my criminal clients, "The road to Hell is a two-way street". Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 2/28/2014
Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
You can still file, but gambling losses are mentioned in the Statement of Financial Affairs. Consult an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/26/2014
Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
Gambling can be an issue in any type of bankruptcy. The losses in gambling over the year before filing the bankruptcy must be disclosed on the Statement of Financial Affairs #8. Depending on your jurisdiction, and the chapter, it could cost you your total discharge or nondischargeability of a certain debt.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 2/26/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Probably because they will want to know where you spent your money. Check with an experienced bankruptcy attorney about your specific situation!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    There is a question on the Statement of Financial Affairs which asks about losses due to gambling in the past year, so you have to disclose your gambling losses there. The trustee will ask you about it and may require documentation if it's especially egregious, but it's not an absolute obstacle. Mainly they want to know that you have learned your lesson and mended your ways so that you don't get into financial trouble again. The U.S. Trustee's Office has broad discretion to object to a discharge in the event of any "abuse" of the bankruptcy laws, which could include not being sufficiently repentant or forthcoming about your mistakes. Some people may be tempted to lie or hide assets and claim they lost it gambling, thus the possible requirement for documentation. You answer all the questions on the bankruptcy papers under penalty of perjury, so you must be truthful.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    Sure, why not.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    That depends on what you mean by a gambling "problem". If you have lost money gambling in the 12 months prior to filing your bankruptcy case, it must be disclosed. If you have incurred debts as a result of the gambling, that may be a basis for your creditors to object to the discharge of those particular debts, although there are defenses to that. You need to have a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to go over all your options and assess your risks and benefits.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Rosenberg & Press
    Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
    It can become a problem if there are undocumented losses or gains. We have dealt with this in the bankruptcy arena many times before and have a lot of experience handling such matters. I would need to know more details to be able to give you a proper answer. You are welcome to contact me at my office.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin | Eric W. I. Anglin
    You may file bankruptcy despite your gambling issues. If any of your debts are a direct result of your gambling issue for example, a recent large cash withdrawal from a credit card used for gambling. Then that creditor may seek to have that debt declared non-dischargeable. You will want to discuss this with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    No you do not have to mention it. But I would suggest you go into Gambler's Anonymous, because you will not be able to file bankruptcy again for a long time and I am guessing that your debts accumulated because of your gambling problem.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Yes, in the Statement of Financial Affairs it asks you have losses from gambling. See a local attorney about when you last had gambling losses. It is imperative you be honest when questioned about this because a lie will caught.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    You must disclose your gambling losses on Question 8 of the Statement of Financial Affairs. However, bankruptcy law doesn't prevent gamblers from filing for bankruptcy, but gambling markers are treated as "bad checks" and can be prosecuted as bad checks under the criminal laws, so you can't eliminate these kinds of debts by filing bankruptcy in Nevada.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    You can file, but until you get your addiction under control I don't recommend it. I suggest you contact a gamblers' addiction counseling service first, then investigate bankruptcy options.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You have to disclose your debts and income but if you qualify anyway then the gambling is irrelevant.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Lynch Law Offices, P.C. | Roseanne N. Lynch
    If your gambling debt is on credit cards it will most likely be treated just as regular unsecured debt. If the Trustee were to ask why or how you managed to rack up debt you would have to be honest and answer. However, it is not a criminal matter and the way you came about the debt is usually not questioned. Some gambling debt may be in the form of "markers" or other instrument used by casinos. In that case you would have to speak about your gambling problem because this type of debt is treated differently in the Bankruptcy. In any event, the Bankruptcy Court is not set up to judge spending habits and focus on how people got into debt, it is meant to protect the creditors and the debtors. See an attorney that can advise you as to your specific issues.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Tokarska Law Center
    Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
    Yes you can and yes you must disclose gambling losses in the petition on the schedule called Statement of Financial Affairs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Havkin & Shrago | Stella Havkin
    Yes and yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Detroit Lawyers, PLLC
    Detroit Lawyers, PLLC | Nick Best
    Individuals that have lost significant amounts of money gambling often file for bankruptcy as gambling debts can be discharged in bankruptcy. However, the court may look at whether the debts were incurred in good faith. If you took out a credit card advance, the court will look at the facts to determine if you had intention to pay them back. If they deem you didn't intend to pay them back, the debts may be ruled non-dischargeable. Any gambling debts accrued within the last year must be disclosed on the Statement of Financial Affairs.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    A gambling problem does not bar you from filing a bankruptcy petition. However, you MUST disclose any losses due to gambling within the one year prior to filing the petition (it is Question #8 in the Statement of Financial Affairs).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    Yes, you can file bankruptcy. However, there are much harder questions that you did not ask. Are you debts the result if cash advances in credit cards, bounced checks, overdrawn bank accounts? All of the above? You do not want to do this on your own without the aid if an experienced lawyer. Depending upon the nature if the debt and when it was incurred there may be some that is not dischargeable or, you may face an adversary proceeding from one or more if your creditors. And on a completely different note, until and unless you try to deal with the underlying gambling issues, filing for bankruptcy may only be a temporary fix at best. If you continue to gamble it is almost certain that you will get into debt again and bankruptcy will not be available to you as a solution again for quite a long time.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/26/2014
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