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There is a civil judgement from an insurance company after i got a dui. can it be discharged in bankruptcy if it was property ?

Chula Vista, CA |

I was in an accident 3 years ago , I recently got a civil judgment against me and I'm in the process of filing bankruptcy.I was sued by insurance company. I get mixed information about it being a discharged debt. I'm already paying fines and restitution this is for the property damage. I've been told that property damage can be discharged unless insurance company fights it during bankruptcy.

Attorney Answers 7

  1. If the debt arose from a DWI it is not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 case.

  2. It depends. If the judgment is only for property damage, yes. If the judgment includes personal injury, no.

    See 11 U.S.C section 523. “Exceptions to discharge.

    (a) A discharge under section 727, 1141, 1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt—

    (9) for death or personal injury caused by the debtor=s operation of motor vehicle if such operation was unlawful because the debtor was intoxicated from using alcohol, a drug, or another substance....”

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  3. It depends on whether or not the accident was connected to the commission of a certain type of crime. For example, if you were cited for reckless driving or speeding, the debt most likely would be eligible to be discharged. But if you were convicted of a drunk or drugged driving offense, that is a different story. See 11 USC sec 523 for more information. Hope this perspective helps!

  4. Section 523(a) (9) states in relevant part that a discharge is not available to an individual debtor from any debt "for death or personal injury caused by the debtor's operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft if such operation was unlawful because the debtor was intoxicated from using alcohol, a drug, or another substance". If the judgment is for property damage, you can discharge it. If a judgment is based on personal injury or death as a result of your DUI, the it cannot be. If the judgment is for both, then you shuold be able to bifurcate it and discharge the property damage part.

  5. If only it were that easy...Bring this to the attention of your original DUI lawyer.

  6. Certain debts are deemed "non-dischargeable" and include debts associated with DUI. However, unless a creditor seeks a court determination as to the dischargeabity of its debt, it will be discharged. Consult/contact a BK lawyer in your area by clicking the "Find a Lawyer" tab on the AVVO website. Good luck.

    You are not my client and I am not your attorney. This advice is given in the spirit of the AVVO platform and is based on general legal principles. You become a client when you enter into a formal retainer agreement with me.

  7. This question would best be answered by your BANKRUPTCY attorney, but it's doubtful that this debt will be discharged.

    Law Offices of Jay S. Finnecy (619) 855-3003.

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