What types of debts cannot be discharged by Chapter 7 and why? 12 Answers as of May 19, 2015

I am thinking of filing for bankruptcy after a car accident that involved expensive damages and medical bills. I was wondering if I apply for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if it will discharge these debts or if they could be considered exceptions because they resulted from a lawsuit.

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
This is a tricky area of the law. Pay an experienced BK lawyer for one hour of their time. Take all documentation with you to the meeting. If you were issued a ticket, be sure you tell the lawyer the outcome of this ticket. If you are being sued by anyone, bring those papers to the meeting. For example, if you were at fault for the accident and you were charged with DUI, this would be significant. The money you pay for a one hour visit with an experienced lawyer will be money well spent!
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/19/2015
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
There is a lengthy section of the law that covers the types of debts not eligible to be eliminated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some of these debts can be eliminated through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. And some of these debts require the creditor to affirmatively sue you in bankruptcy. Whether or not there is a lawsuit over this debt is irrelevant. The issue is whether you were found to have caused the damages due to a criminal act, such as driving under the influence. The section of the law covering this issue is in 11 USC section 523.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/18/2015
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
If it was just plain negligence that was the cause of the accident you can discharge the debt. If it was due to a DUI, probably not dischargeable. The fact that there is a lawsuit is not the important fact. Judgements are discharged all the time. It is the cause of the accident that is important.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/15/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
The medical bills would be dischargeable and the lawsuit would be covered if it was just civil and not for a crime, such as drunk driving.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/14/2015
Michael J. Duggar, P.A.
Michael J. Duggar, P.A. | Michael J. Duggar
There are specific enumerated exceptions to discharge such as student loans, taxes that are less than three (3) years old, property damages related to a DUI, etc. If your accident was not related to a DUI or drug related, I've found the debts to be dischargeable in a bankruptcy and I've had clients discharge judgments against them related to traffic accidents. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/14/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Nondischargeable debts include: -income taxes filed in the past 3 years. -child support -alimony (but property settlements are dischargeable) -vehicle accidents if you were driving drunk or drugged
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/14/2015
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    The fact your were sued for damages due to a car accident does not affect, by it self, affect the dischargeability of the debt. Debts which have been sued on and debts where a judgment has been entered can be included in a bankruptcy. Excepting a debt from discharge is governed by Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code, which lists the types of debts which are not dischargeable. Debts incurred based on fraud, intentional acts such as assault or battery, certain kinds of taxes, student loans, alimony, spousal and child support are some of the types of debts which are not dischargeable. Also not dischargeable are debts which are incurred for personal injuries or death when operating a vehicle while intoxicated. As you state the debt is due to a car accident, if your liability is from a typical accident caused by ordinary negligence in operating the vehicle, then the debt should be dischargeable. If it involves driving while intoxicated, the other driver could bring an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy proceeding to have the debt found non-dischargeable based on that intoxication.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2015
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    Generally, debts that are the result of an accident can discharged in bankruptcy. There are a few exceptions, though, related to willful or malicious behavior or related to driving under the influence.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/13/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    Civil judgments and medical bills may be discharged in BK. The only debts that cannot be are court mandated payments such as criminal restitution.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2015
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    If you don't have a DUI in relation to this debt it can be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/13/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    The mere fact that a claim led to a lawsuit does not affect the dischargeability of the claim in bankruptcy. A list of the most frequent kinds of nondischargeable debt includes: debts for restitution ordered in a criminal case fines payable to a governmental unit most student loans debts for damages from personal injury or death arising from intoxicated operation of a motor vehicle debts arising from fraud, larceny or certain kinds of embezzlement debts for damages caused by willful and deliberate injury to another person or property most taxes debts for domestic support, which is very broadly defined certain uses of credit cards or accounts within the 90-days before filing the bankruptcy petition. There are several more. You would serve yourself best by retaining an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. It's almost always worth the investment. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/13/2015
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    If you were cited for DUI when the accident occurred, the bodily injury portion of the judgment would not be dischargeable. If you were not driving under the influence of intoxicants, all the damages should be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/13/2015
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