Can I collect an awardedjudgment from someonewho has filed bancruptcy?

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Can I collect an awardedjudgment from someonewho has filed bancruptcy?

Someone that I have sued has now filed for bankruptcy. This was a small personal loan between friends. I have yet to collect the monies from her after going to court on several occasions, she just refuses to pay. Now that she has filed bankruptcy is there anything I can do to collect the money from her, or will this be discharged through the bankruptcy? I was thinking about filing for wage garnishment, but if it’s going to cost me more money and I have no luck of collecting in the end, it’s not worth it.

Asked on February 18, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is very likely to be discharged in bankruptcy. Any debts existing as of the time of the filing can be discharged. Of course, in theory, the bankruptcy can and should result in the creditor receiving some payment--whatever can be made from the debtor's assets (ch. 7) or from his/her income after paying necessary expenses (ch. 13), but if the creditor had few assets and little income--especially compared to the amount of the debt--then it is unlikely that unsecured creditors like yourself will receive anything; whatever there is will probably go to secured creditors and also to higher priority unsecured debts, like expenses of the bankruptcy, taxes, alimony and child support, etc.


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