When Gambling Addiction Leads You Into Civil And Bankruptcy Court

Gambling addiction is a very severe and serious condition. Victims of the disease frequently have been forced to file for bankruptcy due to massive losses. Liquidating assets in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, might not be the end of the road. Legal options may exist to recoup losses from casinos that act improperly and the recovered funds could be used to discharge the bankruptcy.

The Path to Bankruptcy and Casino Culpability

The way gambling addiction leads to bankruptcy is clear. Lines of credit with a casino and/or personal credit cards used to finance wagering end up being maxed out. Mortgages and business obligations are unpaid. Eventually, the debtor is seemingly left with no option but to contact a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney and seek protection from the courts.

There may be an additional legal recourse worth exploring. If the casino contributed in any manner deemed grossly negligent, the possibility exists to seek damages. Any money procured from a civil suit could then be used to better address the bankruptcy filing.

Prior Precedent in the Courts

Litigation against casinos by those with gambling problems is not new. Legal claims have been made against casinos for targeting known gambling addicts. Others have filed suit claiming casinos provided alcohol to inebriated gamblers and, thus, enabled problem gambling.

Whether or not a judgment or settlement is possible is going to be based on the particulars of each individual case. Seeking a monetary award definitely could prove beneficial for someone who has filed for bankruptcy. Since Chapter 7 bankruptcy entails liquidating assets to cover debts, the money procured from a successful lawsuit could be diverted to pay off the obligations.

The Reality of Lawsuits

Accept certain truths about suing casinos that caused the bankruptcy. First, many years could pass before any funds are received from an award. Those owed money simply are not going to put off collection action or pursuing litigation while a debtor's suit works its way through the court system.

Second, there is no guarantee the case will be won. A loss or a dismissal means no newly acquired money is available to be applied towards debts owed. A wise option would be to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and procure immediate protection. Filing a lawsuit against a casino could occur simultaneously with the bankruptcy filing.

Discharges and Dismissals

Once debts have been discharged, those who are owed money have no further claim to it even if the debtor wins a huge award in a civil suit. However, it may be possible to request dismissal from bankruptcy and pay off prior obligations with the newly acquired money. Doing so could aid in repairing a credit history. 

Working with a bankruptcy attorney from a law firm like Kreisler Law PC Chicago is advisable in such matters. This way, the best decisions can be made.