Willful or Malicious Conduct Can Bar Bankruptcy Discharge
Nondischargeability Rules Applied In Kane v. Stewart Tilghman Fox & Bianchi, P.A.
In the recent proceeding of >Kane v. Stewart Tilghman Fox & Bianchi, P.A. (In re Kane), the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit applied the nondischargeability rules to the debtor’s case.
In Kane, the 11th Circuit reviewed whether the lower court had properly determined that the debtors were prevented from discharging a state court judgment against them in the amount of $2 million where the state court judgment arose from a “wilful and malicious injury” caused to the plaintiff by the debtors.
In its decision, the 11th Circuit noted that, while a Chapter 7 debtor is generally entitled to a discharge of all debts that arose prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition, the “fresh start” policy is only available to the honest but unfortunate debtor.
After reviewing the lower court’s findings regarding the debtor’s conduct, the 11th Circuit determined that there was no error in the lower court’s determination that the debtor intentionally committed acts that were substantially certain to harm the plaintiff, and that the acts were “wrongful and without just cause.” Thus, on June 26, 2014, the 11th Circuit affirmed the judgment denying the dischargeability of the $2 million judgment against the debtors.
Consult An Experienced West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorney
The experienced bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Office of Kelley, Fulton & Kaplan can help you with all of your bankruptcy-related needs, including advising you on whether you have nondischargeable debt and whether filing for bankruptcy is still a worthwhile option.
At our office in West Palm Beach, we serve clients in the Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Jupiter, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Wellington areas. Call us today at (561) 203-8357 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.