lost job, paycheck, and insurance, (like 10M+ others!)broke leg => $30k+ in bills !how do I minimize my liability?

Asked on June 12, 2009 under Personal Injury, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

By "minimize my liability" I assume you mean your debts.  If you truly have no money and no assets then you may want to consider bankruptcy.  Given your facts as you presented them, Chapter 7 seems a very real possibility for you.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation proceeding.  The debtor turns over all non-exempt property to the bankruptcy trustee who then converts it to cash for distribution to the creditors.  The debtor receives a discharge of all dischargeable debts.  The underlying policy of bankruptcy law is that the honest debtor who is in debt beyond his/her ability to repay the debt should be given a fresh start through the discharge of debts in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Note:  Not all debts are dischargeable.  Generally speaking, the following debts will not be discharged: taxes; spousal and child support; debts arising out of willful misconduct and or malicious misconduct by the debtor; liability for injury or death from driving while intoxicated; nondischargeable debts from a prior bankruptcy; student loans; criminal fines and penalties and forfeitures.

Without more details, it's hard to advise filing bankruptcy with complete certainty.  Your best bet would speak to a bankrutcy attorney in your area.  He'll best be able to consult with as to all of your options.

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