Can Malicious & Willful Acts Be Discharged in Bankruptcy?

Malicious and Willful acts in bankruptcy cases, Chapter 13 bankruptcy

If determined you committed a malicious and willful act, you cannot discharge these debts in bankruptcy.  The bankruptcy code is clear on these types of debts.   

Here is an example of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy debt that was non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.    Bankruptcy Debts caused by willful and malicious acts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy

Malicious and Willful Acts Determination in Bankruptcy

  • Guard orders a prisoner to expose various parts of her body.
  • The prisoner files a Court action against the prison guard.
  • The prison guard defaults in the case.
  • 2 years later, the Correction Officer appears at a judgment hearing.
  • Liability is contested.
  • District Court determines that the liability was established.
  • The hearing is only to determine the amount of damages.
  • Plaintiff (prisoner) is awarded $20K in compensatory damages and $5,000 in punitive damages. 
  • Correction Officer files for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and lists the debt in his bankruptcy.
  • Plaintiff files a complaint to show the Debtor’s acts are willful and malicious.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Result

  • Debtor’s actions were malicious.
  • Debtor’s actions were outside his duties as a correction officer.
  • Although not necessary, Court also concluded actions were willful.
  • As expected, the Bankruptcy Debts were non-dischargeable in the Chapter 13 case.

The Correction Officer abused the prisoner and was trying to abuse the bankruptcy system.  This debt could not be discharged in bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy was established and available to allow debtors to get a fresh start.    However, it was not established to enable individuals to avoid paying debts for intentional acts against others.   Creditors have rights, too.

When you commit a malicious act that was also willful, you cannot file bankruptcy to discharge this debt.

Justice was serviced in this Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case.    You must not abuse the bankruptcy system to avoid being responsible for your actions.

If you are having financial difficulties, I offer a free bankruptcy consultation.   I help debtors to move forward and gain financial successes.

Call me today:   Ralph A. Ferro, Jr., Esq. Bankruptcy Lawyer (201) 446-5904.   I will speak with you personally.