Struggling with paying bills can be stressful. But if you are assessed with government fines your situation can get out of control quickly. Fortunately, for those in financial distress, there are ways to free yourself from debt. So, if you are struggling with debt and considering bankruptcy, here’s what you need to know about court fines and bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Fines
Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, fines which were assessed as penalties may not be discharged. These fines are generally issued as a punishment for disobeying the law and may include things such as traffic tickets or violations.
Any fines which are sought as a form of reimbursement, however, may be discharged under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Fines which are sought as reimbursement are meant to offset the costs a governmental authority spent when dealing with an issue you were involved with. For example, say you accidentally ran into a government-owned vehicle and caused minor damage. You may be levied a fine to cover the costs of the damage the vehicle incurred. Since this is not a punishment, but rather a debt, this fine can be fully discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Fines
Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy protections allow for the discharge of fines which were assessed as a means of punishment. Chapter 13 bankruptcy protections also allow the discharge of punishment debts if the debt was the result of fraud.
There are restrictions, however, on what types of punitive fines can be discharged in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Those fines which were included as part of criminal sentencing – including any restitution fines – cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.
Similar to Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, any fines which seek reimbursement for governmental costs or loses may be discharged.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Help You Pay Attorney Fees
One of the benefits of filing for bankruptcy is the opportunity to get a fresh start after long financial struggles. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a great way to get out from under a mountain of debt and get your financial feet under you. Even better, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you pay for defense attorney fees. Working with an experienced Florida bankruptcy attorney can help you to manage your debts and free yourself financially.
Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Today
The Law Offices of Patrick L. Cordero are proud to be Florida’s largest bankruptcy law firm. Offering personalized attention to every one of their clients, they understand that every situation is unique. If you’re considering bankruptcy, regardless of the type, having an experienced attorney by your side can go a long way.
Trust the Lawyer of the Decade, the Minority Lawyer of the Year, and the Largest Bankruptcy Firm in Florida, and they ’ll work to get you the best possible financial outcome. Trust in the experienced and passionate legal team at The Law Offices of Patrick L. Cordero to help you. Call today at (305) 445-4855.