Q: Can personal bankruptcy eliminate the debt for a $20,000 judgement for a traffic crash while driving with no insurance?
A: Most likely yes, if there was no DUI involved.
Lloyd Nolan agrees with this answer
If you are involved in an auto accident and you don’t have insurance, your driver’s license can be suspended under Colorado’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. In order to have your license reinstated, you’ll need to obtain insurance and get into a payment plan for the damages caused in the accident. This can be tricky because you might owe a significant amount of money and the payment plan can be expensive.
A bankruptcy can help you get your license reinstated right away. Generally, “no new license shall be issued to such person unless and until such judgment is satisfied or vacated or execution therein stayed and proof of financial responsibility given.” However, “[a] discharge in bankruptcy following the rendering of any such judgment shall relieve the judgment debtor from any of [these] requirements”. CO Rev Stat § 42-7-402 (2016). So, as long as the debt resulting from the accident is dischargeable (it wasn’t willful or malicious, you weren’t under the influence, you weren’t ordered to pay restitution, etc.), the bankruptcy eliminates the requirement that you pay off the debt.
How quickly your license is reinstated will come down to the DMV clerk you’re working with. In a recent case we filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy for an individual on a Friday, and he had his license reinstated on the following Monday.
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