Many people ask if they can discharge federal government fines in bankruptcy. Things like federal, state, as well as municipal fines can be eliminated in some circumstances. In virtually every situation that a government entity imposes a fine as a penalty for thing such as the following are not dischargeable in bankruptcy as well as has to be paid:
- Certain tax debts
- Bad check fees
- Fines for contempt of court
- DUI related fines
- Criminal restitution
- Fines for building code violations
If the federal government fine you are seeking to discharge is not on this list, certain bankruptcy Chapters can make it possible for you to discharge it. For example, while Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not very helpful it terms of fines, Chapter 13 can be utilized when dealing with:
- Marital debts from divorce
- Court fees
- Debts from nondischargable tax debt
- Lawsuit Judgments against you
- Debts from care accidents (no DUI/DWI)
Furthermore, these fines as well as penalties can be discharged in bankruptcy depending on what state you file bankruptcy. For more detailed information about GA, you should contact a local bankruptcy attorney.
Very often fines are connected with something not so serious or criminal – for example, damaging government property. This may happen to everyone – starting a small fire in a public place, or accidentally running into a telephone pole. Since fines for damaging government property are considered to be a charge for repair or replacement, but not a punishment, such debts are eliminated in bankruptcy.
How To Differ Federal Fines and Bills for Property Damage
This is a very tricky and complicated part. To find out whether you received a federal fine or a bill, first you should start with checking out your documentation. If you are paying a fine, it will likely note the authorizing law. In this case, it always pays to check the law to see if the fine is within the law’s guidelines.
If the amount you are paying is more than the total fine amount permitted by regulation, there may be building damages involved– though it is logically that you would possibly remember damaging any government property. In addition, most government demand letters specifically mention just how much they are asking you to pay and why.
If, after evaluating your paperwork, you still are not sure, you might call the government agency and ask if the amount is dischargeable in bankruptcy. Agencies are typically glad to answer your question, and if the debt is dischargeable, they will tell you what to do to ensure the agency knows about your bankruptcy. However, it is better to consult with a professional bankruptcy attorney.