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Can a minor file bankruptcy?

Los Angeles, CA |

Our son was in an accident and accumulated a lot of debt and medical bills. Can he file bankruptcy?

Attorney Answers 6

  1. A minor lacks the legal capacity to seek bankruptcy relief. Your son should file when he turns 18, as it is highly unlikely that the creditors would even pursue him for collection before then anyway.

    This comment does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is a general comment that should in no way be construed as legal advice.

  2. As the parents of a minor, you, not he, are responsible for paying his medical debts. Hope this perspective helps!

  3. I agree with my fellow lawyers: a minor lacks the capacity to file bankruptcy.

  4. The minor does not have any debt. You as the parent are responsible.

    Jonathan Leventhal, Esq..
    Leventhal Law Group, P.C.

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  5. A minor in Oklahoma (and likely in other states as well) may be emancipated by the court and have the legal rights of majority (as if he were 18 years old) If the court believes that the minor will be benefited by the action, it is likely to be approved. I am unable to locate any authority that would prohibit an emancipated minor from filing bankruptcy. You will have to have legal counsel to accomplish these tasks.

  6. Pursuant to Rule 1004.1 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the guardian of a minor can file bankruptcy on behalf of a minor. There are specific procedures that you must follow. Whether or not the bankruptcy is advisable or necessary is a different issue.

    Under most circumstances in California, the parents would be responsible for the medical bill. There are exceptions such as Family Code Section 6922. However, more facts are needed to say whether or not bankruptcy for a minor would be needed under the circumstances described.

    First, the firm is a debt relief agency according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We help people file for bankruptcy. We also do other stuff and we do it well, but Congress wants me to post this notice. Second, nothing on this site is legal advice. You are not my client unless you enter into a written agreement signed by you and me.

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