' Can You File Bankruptcy After a Judgment? - Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.

Can You File Bankruptcy After a Judgment?

can you file bankruptcy after a judgmentReceiving a judgment against you in a lawsuit can be a distressing experience. This is especially true if you’re already struggling with financial difficulties. You may be wondering whether bankruptcy offers a viable solution after a judgment has been entered against you.

Can you file for bankruptcy after a judgment? Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding Judgments

A judgment is a court order issued by a judge or jury in a civil lawsuit. It’s typically in favor of one party (the plaintiff) and against another (the defendant).

In the context of debt-related lawsuits, courts issue judgments against a debtor who failed to repay a creditor or meet other financial obligations. Once a creditor obtains a judgment, the creditor may pursue various legal remedies to enforce the judgment. These remedies include wage garnishment, bank levies, or property liens.

Bankruptcy and Judgments

The entry of a judgment against you does not necessarily preclude you from filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy provides a legal process for individuals and entities to address overwhelming debt and obtain relief from creditor collection efforts. However, the treatment of judgments in bankruptcy depends on several factors:

Type of Debt

Judgments may arise from different types of debts, such as credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, or other financial obligations. You can discharge many types of debts through bankruptcy. This includes debts, such as child support, alimony, most tax debts, and debts resulting from fraud or willful misconduct.

Chapter of Bankruptcy

The chapter of bankruptcy you file under – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 – determines how judgments are treated. For example:

Chapter 7 bankruptcy: In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unsecured debts, including most judgments, are dischargeable. This provides relief from repayment obligations. However, certain types of judgments, such as those related to fraud or intentional wrongdoing, may not be dischargeable.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy: Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows individuals with regular income to create a repayment plan to address outstanding debts, including judgments. While some judgments may be dischargeable through the Chapter 13 plan, others must be repaid in full or in part over the plan’s duration.

Automatic Stay Protection

One of the key benefits of filing for bankruptcy is the automatic stay.

The automatic stay is an injunction that halts most creditor collection actions. This includes wage garnishment, bank levies, foreclosure, and lawsuits. The automatic stay goes into effect immediately upon filing for bankruptcy. It provides immediate relief from creditor harassment and legal proceedings, including judgments.

Seeking Legal Guidance

Are you considering bankruptcy after a judgment has been entered against you? You must consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney to assess your options and determine the best course of action. An experienced attorney can:

  • Evaluate your financial situation
  • Explain the implications of bankruptcy on judgments and other debts
  • Guide you through the bankruptcy process

Receiving a judgment can create additional challenges. However, it doesn’t necessarily prevent you from seeking relief through bankruptcy. Remember, you have rights and resources available to help you navigate the complexities of debt and bankruptcy—don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance and support.

If you’d like to learn more or you’re ready to get started with filing, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at (813) 254-5696 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.


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Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
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St. Petersburg, FL 33701
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