My name isXXXXX am a bankruptcy law professional, and I look forward to answering your question today.
It is very difficult to predict how likely a victory in a petition
under section 523 is (a petition to have a debt considered non-dischargeable) without being able to review all of the evidence presented to the judge. However, if there is significant proof that the debtor committed fraud in taking on the debt, making little or no effort to pay the debt and then filing bankruptcy, or using the bankruptcy code
to maliciously try and injure a creditor, then the chances should be good. Ultimately, any determination by a court, including a federal bankruptcy court, is how compelling the evidence of fraud or malicious intent is. If the evidence is comprehensive, and clearly demonstrates fraud on the part of the debtor, then the court is significantly more likely to find for the creditor (you) that there was fraud. Where it is a close call, or the evidence is not clear or is ambiguous, it is more likely that the court will find for the defendant (the bankrtupcy debtor).
Now, in answer to your second question, while you can write letters to the judge, if the letters contain new arguments or new evidence, that information would need to be presented in new hearing with the debtor having an opportunity to refute the new evidence or arguments. The reason this is true is that in any legal proceeding, including a bankruptcy proceeding, all parties must have the right to respond to new arguments and new evidence presented. So, while you are allowed to send a letter to a judge, if it contains new arguments or evidence, it is possible that the judge will not consider it unless you request a hearing on the evidence with the debtor present to respond. A judge is not under any obligation to consider anything that is not presented to the court in a hearing, or filed with the clerk with notice
given to the debtor so that they can respond.
Finally, generally the bankruptcy court will not require the debtor to pay the amount in question, because collection is not the issue in front of the court, but rather whether or not the debt can be discharged in bankruptcy. If a creditor wins on a 523 petition to have a debt considered non-dischargeable, the creditor (in this case you) still has to go through collection proceedings, which vary from state to state and may include asking the court to garnish wages
, seize funds from a bank account, or seize property for sale to collect on the debt. Generally collection actions are taken in a seperate proceeding in state court.
So, in summary (1) If the evidence was strong that actual fraud was committed, or the debtor intentionally used the bankruptcy code to harm a creditor (which usually means they took out a debt with no intention of paying and then filed a bankruptcy petition), then the chances are good for success, but are never guarunteed. (2) A judge may be willing to accept a letter from a party to a case, but if the letter is intended to persuade, make new arguments, or offer new evidence, then it is unlikely the court will consider it unless the debtor has an opportunity to respond in court (After having been given notice). (3) Collection generally happens at the state court level, the goal of the 523 petition is just to prevent the debt from being discharged by the bankruptcy court. If the debt is not discharged, the creditor (you) then have the opportunity to collect on the debt through typical channels (namely a collection action through state court). If everything works out and the bankruptcy court determines that the debt is still owed, it would be prudent to consult with a debt collection attorney in your area of Texas, as although debt collection often appears easy to people, it can get complicated in hurry. For a referral to an attorney in Texas, the state bar association may be of some assistance at:
I hope this helps, but let me know if you require any clarification of anything I have said (never be afraid to ask for clarification!). Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work.