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Law Girl
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Category: Bankruptcy Law
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My ex-wife had a medical treatment on 11/14/05 which I was ...

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My ex-wife had a medical treatment on 11/14/05 which I was not aware of until May 17 2008 b/c I notice there was a judgement on my credit report. I paid the bill $1080.39 b/c we were not legally separated until 12/1/05. I did not rec medical bill from hospital and she did not inform me of bill while we were living apart. So I decided to file a small claim suit against her. two days later I received a notice from her Counsel of Debtor that she filed for bankruptcy in 12/2007 which I was not aware of either. She listed me as a creditor. Can I still take her to small claims court to see if I can get my $1080.39?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Law Girl replied 8 years ago.

DearCustomer

Thank you for your question.

Unfortunately, if she can prove that she appropriately listed you as a creditor, provided notice, and your interest was discharged by the bankruptcy court, she may be able to successfully defend against your lawsuit.

If a creditor attempts collection efforts on a discharged debt, the debtor can file a motion with the court, reporting the action and asking that the case be reopened to address the matter. The bankruptcy court will often do so to ensure that the discharge is not violated. The discharge constitutes a permanent statutory injunction prohibiting creditors from taking any action, including the filing of a lawsuit, designed to collect a discharged debt. Keep in mind that a creditor can be sanctioned by the court for violating the discharge injunction. The normal sanction for violating the discharge injunction is civil contempt, which is often punishable by a fine.

So, depending on what this is worth to you, you may not want to risk being sanctioned for attempting to collect the debt if it was appropriately discharged and you have no way of proving that you did not receive the appropriate notice.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, or require clarification of this matter. Otherwise please hit "ACCEPT", so I may receive credit for my response. Tips and feedback are also appreciated.

Good Luck!

-KAT

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