The number one thing a bankruptcy can do is to immediately get the person’s license reinstated or get their car registration renewed, which is the most common reason people come to see us when they have problems with the State of Maryland. Being unable to drive a car can make it very difficult to take care of the family, go to work, take the kids to school or do the things people need to do to survive.
Also, a lot of these debts can be discharged or wiped out in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. For example, unemployment overpayments are a very common debt, and they can be wiped out in a bankruptcy as long as there is no fraud involved. A Chapter 13 filing can set up a payment plan to pay off the debt that can’t be wiped out, like fines, parking tickets, taxes and any other kind of debt that can’t be discharged in a chapter 7.
The person will get the same immediate relief with either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 and they can get their license renewed, and they will be able keep any and all tax refunds without the State of Maryland intercepting them.
Can Unemployment Over-Payments Be Wiped Out?
Unemployment overpayments have become a very common reason for a lawsuit over the last few years because, as the economy went south a lot more people started collecting unemployment. The unemployment fund paid out more in 2009 and 2010 than they took in, because the economy was so bad and so many lost their jobs.
As a result, from 2011 through 2013 there was a tremendous increase in the number of people being sued by the State of Maryland for receiving unemployment benefits the state claimed they were not entitled to receive. The good news is, in most cases unemployment overpayments can be wiped out in a bankruptcy unless the person had obtained them fraudulently, and the burden of proof on that would be on the state.
Can Motor Vehicle Administration Fines and Tuition Fees Be Wiped Out?
Fines are money owed to the government, so they normally can’t be wiped out in a Chapter 7, but they can get their license and registration renewed, which makes many clients happy. The person can, however, set up a payment plan to deal with the MVA fines under Chapter 13 and pay them off. Therefore, it’s possible to get their license back and their car on the road and this is generally the relief most people are looking for; they can drive to work and not have to worry about getting pulled over.
Tuition fees can be wiped out in a bankruptcy, because they’re not a fine or criminal penalty, although they should be careful to distinguish between tuition they owed and student loans, because the student loan debt can’t be wiped out in a bankruptcy.
Will A Bankruptcy Actually Stop A Lawsuit Or Only Pause It?
Any bankruptcy will stop a Central Collections State of Maryland lawsuit immediately upon filing so, depending on the kind of debt and the amount, that person can decide whether a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 would make more sense. Either way, filing for bankruptcy immediately stops the State of Maryland from harassing someone for a debt.
Central Collections collects from 400 different agencies so there they deal with 400 types of debt; therefore, the mere fact that someone is being sued by the State of Maryland is not determinative of whether or not the debt can be discharged or wiped out through bankruptcy; we would have to look at each individual case and see exactly what the state was suing the person for before we can tell if the debt can be wiped out or if we’d have to set up a Chapter 13 payment plan to pay off the debt.
Will Filing Bankruptcy Undo A Judgment Against The Person By The State Of Maryland?
Just as with a judgment from any other creditor, a judgment against someone by the State of Maryland can be dealt with in a bankruptcy. If the debtor did not own any property, there would be nothing for the judgment to attach to, so if the debt itself is eligible to be wiped out, then the judgment can, also.
If that person owned real estate and a judgment was recorded, a lien may be placed on the property that we can deal with, depending on how much was owed and whether there was any equity in the property. That would be assessed on a case by case basis, so that person should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to figure out exactly how to deal with the judgment.
For more information on How Can A Bankruptcy Help, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (410) 243-1508 today.