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Bankruptcy May Be Your Option

Civil judgment discharge denied in Chapter 7 bankruptcy request

Many people in Oklahoma find themselves facing financial challenges. As a result, they examine their situation to determine their options for debt relief. With the guidance of an attorney, some decide that their best option is to start with a clean financial slate gained by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, not all financial obligations can be discharged through bankruptcy.

A recent court ruling may shine some light on what debts can be discharged. One man filed for relief from a civil judgment against him. In 2010, the man rented a room to a woman. Unfortunately, the woman and a third roommate discovered hidden cameras in her room and other areas of the house. The police were contacted, and the man ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of improper visual recording, admitting that he taped the woman for his own sexual gratification.

As a result, the victim filed a civil suit against him and was awarded approximately $700,000 for pain and suffering. Just weeks after the ruling, the man filed for bankruptcy protection. The victim in the previous case filed a motion requesting that the monetary award from the civil case be deemed non-dischargeable. Her request was granted, preventing a discharge of the man's debt related to the civil case.

Financial struggles are common in Oklahoma and across the country. When some people feel  they are surrounded by debt, they turn to Chapter 7 bankruptcy for relief. However, not all debt is dischargeable and knowing what can or cannot be can aid in a person's decision whether to seek such recourse.

Source: bna.com, "Peeping Tom Can't Wipe Out Civil Damages in Bankruptcy Case", Daniel Gill, Jan. 12, 2017

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