What happens to DUI debt in a bankruptcy?

by DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC on November 18, 2013

What happens to DUI debt in a bankruptcy?Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case usually allows you to discharge or cancel the majority of your unsecured debt. However, there are specific types of debt that the law excludes from being eligible for discharge. One type of debt that is not eligible for discharge is one arising from the “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.” 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(9).

By way of example, if you have a debt owed to the victim of a crash where you were charged with driving under the influence, it cannot be discharged. You typically cannot discharge awards of restitution or fines imposed by the court.

In some cases, an insurance company seeking subrogation damages will object to your discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §523.  Debts arising from the “willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity or to the property of another entity” are excepted from discharge under section 523(a)(6).

In determining a debtor’s liability, most bankruptcy courts follow the state law of the jurisdiction where the criminal prosecution was held.  This results in the blood alcohol limit of the state where the DUI occurred applying rather than the state where the bankruptcy case is filed. Thus, debtors are prevented from filing their bankruptcy case in a state with a higher blood alcohol level in an effort to try to escape culpability.

If you have DUI-related debt and you are planning to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is important to discuss it with an attorney at DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC.

If you would like a down-to-earth approach and a lawyer who will listen carefully to all your questions and concern, call DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC,at (414) 377-0518We serve clients primarily in the areas of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, debt negotiations and defending foreclosure actions. If you live in the area of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, call us for the debt relief assistance you need.

 

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