Bankruptcy and Questions About Certain Judgment Being Discharged

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Concerned Mother Raises Questions

One concerned Mother recently blogged a bankruptcy forum website about her son who had a car accident. He was found at fault in the accident, and his driver’s license was taken away. The party who the son was involved in the accident with filed a lawsuit against him and was awarded a judgment for $7000.

The state court of jurisdiction handling the lawsuit said the son could not get his driver’s license back until he paid the debt in full. The son is married, has four children, barely makes enough income to support his family of six, and needs the car to continue working. The people awarded the $7000 is demanding the payment in full or “forget it.” The Mother wants to know if the son filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, would he be able to have the debt of the judgment discharged by the bankruptcy? She also wanted to know if the judgment is discharged, could he get his license back?

Without more information from the woman about the son’s circumstances during the judgment phase of the lawsuit, it is almost impossible to provide good answers to her questions.

Exemptions from Bankruptcy Discharge

There are certain lawsuit judgments that are exempt from bankruptcy discharge. As an example of one, if a person is found guilty of having an automobile accident while under the influence of alcohol, the damages awarded in a lawsuit judgment cannot be discharged by a bankruptcy.

State laws might conflict with federal laws concerning losing your driver’s license for an automobile accident, so when it comes to an automobile accident judgment award during a federal bankruptcy case, some possibilities exist where a debtor filing bankruptcy might have those awards discharged. Since the federal law says the judgment award is forgiven, the debtor would have a good case to get his or her driver’s license back because the state awarded judgment would be satisfied by federal law.

If the son was under the influence of alcohol during the accident, he would not be able to have the judgment award discharged in a bankruptcy, but he could petition either the state or bankruptcy court to make out a reasonable plan to satisfy the award because of his financial hardships. Either a civil lawyer or bankruptcy lawyer could petition one of the courts to force the party who was awarded judgment to abandon their all or nothing stance concerning the $7000 award. In addition, a successful appeal to return the driver’s license due to his hardship might allow the son enough time and the transportation to pay the award off in a timely fashion.

Experience Recommended to Petition Hardship Cases.

Hiring a lawyer to petition the court for such a hardship case could be a cost prohibitive move for the son. He could petition either court Pro Se, but the complexity of his situation might make it hard for an inexperienced petitioner to win a hardship case. What the son mostly likely needs is an experienced lawyer.

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