How cana small claims judgement be enforced in a bankruptcy case?

UPDATED: Jun 4, 2011

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How cana small claims judgement be enforced in a bankruptcy case?

I was awarded a $5000 judgement in small claims court. Now, a year later, I have received a letter from the US Bankruptcy Court  for a payment plan of $30 per month for 60 months and a document for a Chapter 13 plan. I have also received a motion for NY child support enforcement but I have no child with this man. However has fraudulently conned me into selling my handbags for me but stole them instead. How can I receive my original small claims judgement? What specific and detailed steps do I need to take?

Asked on June 4, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, your other alternative is to file a claim with the court (you should have received a claim form) for the amount you seek but since the claim may not be a secured or priority claim you will have an issue as to the money for the bags. If this person stole from you, file the claim and show the court that the money owed is as a result of the theft of these items (and file a copy of the police report if you have one). If the bankruptcy is dismissed because of the criminal issue, you may have an easier time collecting the money since the bankruptcy claimant cannot now hide behind the bankruptcy. You can get the claim forms from the U.S. Bankruptcy court website. As to the child support, that is never dischargeable in bankruptcy. But if you received a motion for support enforcement for a child, and you don't have one, make sure you inform the court of this, as well.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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