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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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I have a friend who is in jail for over a year now for a crime

Resolved Question:

I have a friend who is in jail for over a year now for a crime that he was accused of. Because of the lapsed time, he has lost his job and is on the verge of losing his house. He wants to know if he maxes out his credit cards to hire a lawyer, can he file bankruptcy? How would this work if he wins/loses his case?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.

Hi JACustomer,

The actual answer to your question, as asked, is "Yes - your friend can file a Bankruptcy if he maxes out his credit cards to hire a lawyer".

Did you actually want to know something else, such as can those credit card bills be discharged if he files a Bankruptcy?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes i am sure he is interested about the credit cards/bills - if they would be discharged without his presence?

he questions also on what kind of bankruptcy (7 or 11) he would have to file?
and my understanding is that with either bankruptcy, the debt would eventually have to be paid back?

if he wins his case (may it be a few months to a few years) how would he be able to restore his credit upon his release?

if he were to lose his case, what would happen to his debt?
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.
Last question - when you referred to winning or losing the case, did you mean the Criminal case or the Bankruptcy case?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
mainly his criminal case... both actually

how would this scenario play out if he filed bankruptcy and either win/llose his criminal case?

sorry it was ch 7 or 13
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.

The basic rule is debt that was incurred with no intention of paying it back is not dischargeable in a Bankruptcy.

If your nephew uses his credit card(s) to pay a defense attorney, and he is planning on paying the credit card - however how long it takes, and even if he ultimately cannot pay - that debt can be discharged. However, if he knew at the time he used the credit card that he was not going to pay, then that debt would be non-dischargeable.

As there is no way for a court to know what is in someone's head when they use a credit card - there is no way for a court to know whether someone intended to pay back the debt when they used the card - the Bankruptcy court presumes that charging more than $870 to one credit card within the 90 days immediately prior to filing a Bankruptcy means the debtor had no intention of paying it back.

Whether he wins or loses the criminal case has no bearing in this. If he loses, and is incarcerated, he can file a Bankruptcy when he is released. (He can also file while incarcerated, but this is not practical.)


I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you!

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