Different States Have Different Laws that Can Affect Bankruptcy and the Dischargeability of Your Debts.
I would like to share the following North Carolina case below which I hope you find as interesting as I did:
- North Carolina law requires the following elements for the State Court determination of liability and damages:
- Husband and Wife were happily married
- Genuine love and affection were present between the couple
- The wrongful and malicious acts produced and brought about the loss and alienation of love and affection
- Husband sued the paramour in State Court and won
- Paramour filed an adversary proceeding.
- It is important to note that the wife also worked in the husband’s business which resulted in an economic loss to the Husband
- State Court awarded the following to the Husband: $1.2 million in economic business and loss of his wife’s services to his business; $6,645,936 for punitive damages, which was 3x the compensatory award.
- The “malicious and willful” paramour filed bankruptcy asserting that the law was based upon antiquated torts that Congress did not intend to except from discharge.
- None of the cases based upon NC law were ever overturned.
- Held that the $8.8 million debt was non-dischargeable.
- 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that a judgment for alienation of affection was non dischargeable pursuant to Section 523(a)(6).
Moral of Story: Don’t break up a loving marriage; especially when you are in North Carolina. Be sure your bankruptcy attorney reviews your case thoroughly before you file bankruptcy. Your need to know what debts can be discharged in your bankruptcy.
Call Me for a Free Bankruptcy Consultation: Ralph A. Ferro, Jr., Esq. (201) 446-5904. I am Board Certified in Consumer Bankruptcy Law. Contact Me