Q: I live in Georgia and I need to know if my gambling debts can be discharged in bankruptcy?
A: At one time, not very long ago, the answer was no - gambling debts were non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. Now, however, the odds are good that gambling debt can be discharged in bankruptcy in Georgia. Studies have shown that millions of Americans have gambling problems. In fact, studies show that 20% of compulsive gamblers will eventually file for bankruptcy.
Prior to filing, your bankruptcy attorney will want to understand everything about your gambling habits, including how much of your overall debt was gambling related, when (exactly) your gambling-related debt was incurred, and whether you reasonably believed you would be able to pay back your creditors. The court will thoroughly examine your gambling history to determine whether you acted with an intent to defraud your creditors if an objection by a creditor is made.
As experienced bankruptcy lawyers we've seen gambling debt from casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, as well as large wagers made on the NFL Super Bowl, the NCAA basketball tournament ("March Madness") and wagers on Atlanta teams like the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Braves. Of course, college sports are also key, with big betting on the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.