Georgia resident’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges $400k in debt
Earlier this month, a former chief of staff for an out-of-state big city mayor was allowed to discharge more than $400,000 in debts. This former mayoral staff member filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia where she moved following a scandal that resulted in her pleading guilty to felony obstruction of justice charges after a newspaper published text messages which indicated she had indeed lied under oath in a court trial involving her former boss, Kwame Kilpatrick.
Although the judge in the bankruptcy court approved the discharge of almost $400,000 in debt, she was not able to discharge back taxes she owes to the IRS or the restitution she agreed to pay the city of Detroit after pleading guilty to the obstruction charges. Certain debts, such as taxes, court judgments or criminal or civil restitution or even the majority of student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Student loans currently may be discharged but only under extreme long-term demonstrated hardship cases.
By having the vast majority of her debt discharged, including medical debt the former chief of staff will free up much needed funds in order to meet her obligations to the city and to the IRS. Filling for bankruptcy protection has both immediate and long-term benefits that can help a person overcome their financial difficulties rather than persist in vicious cycle of increasing debt and a decreasing ability to pay that debt. The immediate benefits can be seen in the requirement that all debt collectors cease all collection efforts as of the date of filing.
The long-term benefits are in discharging much if not all of a person’s unsecured debts so he or she can emerge with a clean financial slate. When a person is struggling with meeting their monthly financial obligations it can be helpful to consult with a bankruptcy attorney who will review his or her particular circumstances, including a home, the type of debt currently held and current income and steps you can take to seek debt relief. Bankruptcy may not be the only option available to you but sometimes just knowing what your specific options are can bring immediate relief to you and your family.
Source: Detroit Free Press, “Bankruptcy judge lets Christine Beatty dump much of debt, but not restitution to Detroit,” Teresa Baldas, Feb. 6, 2013