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Civil Judgment Questions

Civil judgment includes decisions that are made at the end of trials by a judge. A civil lawsuit is anything other than a criminal lawsuit. Below are the most commonly asked questions about civil judgment as they apply to bankruptcy.

If a person has a civil judgment and is accruing interest annually, will that person be able to claim bankruptcy and include this judgment?

If the person qualifies to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they can add all debts and judgments, except for certain taxes, student loans or criminal fines or fraudulent civil actions.

Will bankruptcy take care of a civil judgment?

A bankruptcy will normally erase most civil judgments. Whether a bankruptcy or a judgment is less damaging to one's credit depends upon the person’s entire financial picture. For example if a person has a lot of outstanding debt, a bankruptcy may be the best choice as it would free that person from most debt. It is always a good idea to ask an Expert to evaluate your entire financial picture and provide legal insights on your individual situation.

A person has a civil judgment against them. The Plaintiff declared bankruptcy and the trustee sent an order to make payments. The Plaintiff told the person the bankruptcy was over. Will the trustee notify if the Plaintiff's bankruptcy was completed?

The judgment is still valid, and remains valid for 7 years. After 7 years, the judgment holder can renew the judgment for another 7 years. If person has not made any payments to the trustee, the trustee will not tell that the judgment was returned to the plaintiff, which may or may not have happened. Whether or not the right to collect the judgment was returned to the plaintiff depends on why the Bankruptcy was dismissed. Whether or not the judgment was returned to the plaintiff will be indicated in the Bankruptcy papers, of which you can get a copy from the clerk at the Bankruptcy court.

A person has a civil judgment against them and needs to pay the judgment off. However, the company is no longer in business; how can the debt be paid off to satisfy the judgment.

The person can contact the attorney who handled the case. If the company no longer exists, they can tell the person who purchased the assets or who the funds should be directed to.

If a person is seeking retirement and has a civil judgment, can the judgment be filed under a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 if there are no assets or income at all

If person has no assets and is close to retirement, the person would be judgment proof very soon meaning that the law firm would be unable to collect from since that work would not be working. The retirement income is exempt from execution. As for bankruptcy, if the person does not have any disposable income, the person cannot file for Chapter 13 because they would need disposable income to fund the Chapter 13 plan.

As for Chapter 7, things such as loans are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 unless the person files for adversary complaint for the court to determine discharge ability of the debt due to extreme hardship and the Court rules in their favor.

Having the right information about civil judgments can help individuals deal with difficult situations and make the right decisions about bankruptcy. Individual circumstances and laws in your jurisdiction can impact the best legal course of action. It is always safe to ask an Expert about civil judgment and other bankruptcy issues as they apply in your case before taking any action.
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