Filing Bankruptcy due to a Gambling Problem
Gambling is a serious addiction that affects many people. Whether you are gambling on the internet or in the casino, this issue can lead to significant financial loss. In fact, many people who gamble on a regular basis eventually accumulate more debt than they can ever afford to pay. In these cases, filing bankruptcy can provide you with the relief you need to help you get out of debt and back on your feet.
Casino Marker Debts
Gambling debts can come in many forms. One of the main sources of gambling debt is casino marker debt. A casino marker is credit loaned to a gambler, usually in cases where the gambler is out of money or is hoping to make a profit without dipping into his or her own funds. Casino markers may be tied to a credit line with the casino, or the gambler may be asked to submit a post-dated check. A marker may also be tied to a credit card or borrowed against funds on deposit.
A gambler who applies for and obtains a casino marker rarely plans to spend more than he or she can afford to repay. The gambler may plan to stop at a certain limit, or the gambler may think that if he or she continues to spend, good luck will eventually come along. Unfortunately, in many cases, the gambler’s spending gets out of control, and he or she ends up owing more to the casino than expected, leading to mountains of debt. If this situation applies to you, it’s time to turn to Ted Machi and his team to see if bankruptcy is the right option for you.
Chapter 13 Gambling Debt Relief
One type of bankruptcy that our team can help you file is chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you prevent repossession and/or foreclosure. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are required to repay both secured and unsecured debts. However, you may not be required to repay all of your unsecured debts in full. Instead, you will make payments toward your debts based on a three- or five-year payment plan that our team at Ted Machi & Associates will help you work out with the court. The specifics of this payment plan will depend on your disposable income and the amounts of your outstanding debts.
Chapter 7 Gambling Debt Forgiveness
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is another bankruptcy option that can eliminate your gambling debts and help you take a step in the right direction financially. Unlike chapter 13 bankruptcy, chapter 7 bankruptcy does not involve a payment plan. In addition, this type of bankruptcy typically allows you to discharge a larger portion of your debts, which means that you will no longer be responsible for paying them.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy – also known as liquidation – requires you to pass a means test. This test is designed to determine whether your income is low enough for you to qualify for this type of bankruptcy. If you pass the means test and you choose to proceed with a chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may have to turn over non-exempt assets to the court to repay as much as your debt as possible, but in most cases, your home, vehicles and personal items will be protected. Any remaining debts will then be discharged by the court, and the case will be closed.
At Ted Machi & Associates, we’re experts with both chapter 13 and chapter 7 bankruptcy. We can help you determine which option is better for you and guide you through the process of filing for bankruptcy
Nondischargeable Bankruptcy Debts
Some debts cannot be discharged by either type of bankruptcy. These are known as “nondischargeable debts.” Any gambling debts that you did not incur legally cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy. For example, if you have incurred debt while participating in illegal gambling, you won’t be able to eliminate these debts by filing for bankruptcy.
Debts may also be nondischargeable if any type of criminal activity, deception, or fraud was involved when you incurred the debt. For example, if there’s evidence that you deliberately racked up large amounts of debt right before filing for bankruptcy, or that you lied about your identity in order to obtain credit, you will likely have trouble discharging accrued debts.
If you have accumulated more gambling debt than you can afford to pay, bankruptcy may be your best option to get out of debt and back on the right track. To find out if you are a good candidate for bankruptcy, or to begin the filing process, contact Ted Machi & Associates today.
Resources for Gambling Problems
If you have a gambling problem, there are resources available to help you:
Gamblers Anonymous Fort Worth – (817) 371-0624
Gamblers Anonymous Dallas – (214) 675-0939
National Council on Problem Gambling – (800) 522-4700