Can you place unpaid court fines into bankruptcy?

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Can you place unpaid court fines into bankruptcy?

An army recruiter told us to do so but I didn’t think this was possible? It’s for charges from about 8 years ago; already off probation; fines are in collections.

Asked on June 28, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Kansas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Most debt can be discharged in bankruptcy, however, there are exceptions. Bankruptcy courts typically do not discharge debts that are categorized as "priority".  Priority debts include child support, alimony, tax debts, homeowner's association fees, and (as in your situation) fines, penalties, court costs, and restitution to a victim.

Note:  A few additional types of priority debt can be discharged but only in rare cases in which the debtor can show a special exception; these include student loans and income taxes.


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